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July 29, 1968

Dornase Aerosol Effect on Sputum Viscosity in Cases Of Cystic Fibrosis

Author Affiliations

Long Beach, Calif

JAMA. 1968;205(5):312-313. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140310070022

To the Editor:—  Deoxyribonucleic acid is not normally present in mucoid respiratory secretions but is a product of pulmonary inflammatory cellular debris.1,2 The DNA in mucopurulent secretions seems to contribute to the chronicity of respiratory disease by increasing the viscosity of such secretions. A therapeutic attack upon the DNA content of purulent respiratory secretions would therefore appear to be worthwhile in an attempt to reduce morbidity from respiratory infection and to enhance the effectiveness of antibiotics.3Pancreatic dornase is a commercially available enzyme preparation which liquifies purulent sputum in vitro.4,5 The reduction in viscosity occurs rapidly due to depolymerization of DNA5 and the induction of intrinsic proteolysis.6-8 Dornase aerosols have also been found to be useful in the evacuation of viscous mucopurulent secretions in bronchopulmonary disease.9-13 I recently described a method for measuring the viscosity of sputum with a coneplate viscosimeter, thereby providing a