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June 28, 1947


JAMA. 1947;134(9):762-770. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880260020005

Therapeutic aerosols with oxygen flows may be administered for topical therapy of the respiratory tract or for rapid systemic effect through absorption from the tremendous inner surface area of the lung. It has been demonstrated in animals1 and in man2 that inhalational material may be uniformly distributed and penetrates the outermost air sacs of the lungs. It is thus possible to obtain high local concentrations with varying blood levels via the "pulmonary route."

Continuous aerosolization with oxygen of bronchodilator, vasoconstrictor and chemotherapeutic agents has been employed in patients with asthma, pulmonary emphysema, pneumonia, gas poisoning and other types of bronchopulmonary diseases.3 The specific advantages of penicillin over the sulfonamide compounds suggested its superiority as an aerosol4 in the treatment of serious disease of the respiratory tract.

The physiologic rationale of penicillin aerosol therapy has been well established. Bryson and his colleagues4d demonstrated that penicillin aerosol

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