This site became the new on June 19th. Learn more.
Show more Menu IMPORTANT: Listing of a study on this site does not reflect endorsement by the National Institutes of Health. Talk with a trusted healthcare professional before volunteering for a study. Read more... Menu IMPORTANT: Talk with a trusted healthcare professional before volunteering for a study. Read more... Menu
Give us feedback

The Long Term Effect of Inhaled Hypertonic Saline (6%) in Patients With Non Cystic Fibrosis Bronchiectasis

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
The Alfred Identifier:
First received: June 7, 2007
Last updated: June 22, 2011
Last verified: June 2011
The purpose of this study is to determine whether the daily inhalation of nebulised hypertonic saline (6%) will decrease the incidence of pulmonary exacerbations and increase the quality of life for people with non cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis.

Condition Intervention Phase
Bronchiectasis Drug: Hypertonic saline 6% - Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: The Long Term Effect of Inhaled Hypertonic Saline (6%) in Patients With Non-cystic Fibrosis Bronchiectasis.

Further study details as provided by The Alfred:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Number of pulmonary exacerbations [ Time Frame: One year ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • - St George Respiratory questionnaire - Leicester Cough Questionnaire - Lung Function Tests [ Time Frame: One year ]

Enrollment: 40
Study Start Date: December 2007
Study Completion Date: October 2009
Primary Completion Date: October 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: 1 Drug: Hypertonic saline 6% -
Hypertonic saline (6%) - 5mls twice a day via a nebuliser for 12 months

Detailed Description:

Bronchiectasis is a disabling, chronic respiratory condition which significantly impacts on the quality of life of patients who present with chronic sputum production and respiratory infections. The occurrence of pulmonary infections is a strong predictor of morbidity and mortality in this group of people so the primary goal of treatment is to prevent infections caused by the presence of sputum in their lungs.

Physiotherapy is a major aspect of their management and focuses on teaching appropriate airways clearance techniques. Traditionally, the physiotherapy management of sputum retention due to bronchiectasis has included the active cycle of breathing technique which has been demonstrated to enhance airways clearance. For some patients, this treatment is not adequate. The use of nebulised hypertonic saline has been used for patients with cystic fibrosis and has been demonstrated to improve sputum removal and lung function.

The aim of this project is to determine the long term effect of the daily inhalation of hypertonic saline on respiratory infections, quality of life, lung function and hospital admissions in patients with non cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. Hypertonic saline has been shown to be beneficial as a once only treatment in this patient group, but its' long term effects have not been studied.

Participants will be randomised to two groups - those receiving hypertonic saline (6%) and those receiving isotonic saline (0.9%) - and will be blinded to the treatment that they are receiving. They will be given nebuliser equipment and will be instructed how and when to inhale their medication.

Objective measures will be taken by a blinded assessor before the commencement of the project and then at 3 months, 6 months and 12 months post commencement.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • diagnosis of bronchiectasis on high resolution computer tomography
  • at least 2 respiratory exacerbations per year over the past 2 years
  • producing sputum daily
  • in a stable clinical state
  • over 18 years of age.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • cystic fibrosis
  • Positive response to hypertonic saline challenge - FEV 1 decreased by ≥ 15%
  • FEV 1 ≤ 1L
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00484263

Australia, Victoria
The Alfred Hospital
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 3126
Sponsors and Collaborators
The Alfred
Study Chair: Anne Holland, PhD, BAppSc The Alfred
Principal Investigator: Caroline H Nicolson, MPhysio The Alfred