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October 1962

Enzymatic Dissolution of Pulmonary Secretions: An in Vitro Study of Sputum from Patients with Cystic Fibrosis of Pancreas

Author Affiliations

Jack Lieberman, M.D., Veterans Administration Hospital, 5901 E. 7th St., Long Beach, Calif.; Veterans Administration Clinical Investigator (Dr. Lieberman).; From the Veterans Administration Hospital, Long Beach, and the Department of Medicine, University of California Medical Center, Los Angeles.

Am J Dis Child. 1962;104(4):342-348. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080030344004

Viscid tracheobronchial secretions are the main cause of morbidity in cystic fibrosis of the pancreas.1 Proteolytic enzyme therapy has been employed only sporadically for thinning these secretions,2-5 but some clinicians have not been impressed by its effectiveness.4,5 It is conceivable that the increased levels of circulating trypsin inhibitor found in these children6,7 may affect the use of these enzymes and perhaps result in an inadequate therapeutic trial. More recently, deoxyribonuclease (DNase) has been found to have beneficial effects upon the secretions both in vitro8 and clinically.5 It would appear that studies of the enzymatic dissolution of the respiratory secretions in cystic fibrosis would be of interest, not only from a clinical point of view, but as an aid in understanding the factors responsible for the high viscosity of the mucous secretions.

During my initial studies with pulmonary secretions obtained from children with cystic fibrosis

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