Medical aerosols are key elements of current chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) therapy. Therapeutic effects are conditioned by the delivery of the right amount of medication to the right place within the airways, that is, to the drug receptors. Deposition of the inhaled drugs is sensitive to the breathing pattern of the patients which is also connected with the patient’s disease severity. The objective of this work was to measure the realistic inhalation profiles of mild, moderate, and severe COPD patients, simulate the deposition patterns of Symbicort®
dry powder drug and compare them to similar patterns of healthy control subjects. For this purpose, a stochastic airway deposition model has been applied. Our results revealed that the amount of drug depositing within the lungs correlated with the degree of disease severity. While drug deposition fraction in the lungs of mild COPD patients compared with that of healthy subjects (28% versus 31%), lung deposition fraction characteristic of severe COPD patients was lower by a factor of almost two (about 17%). Deposition fraction of moderate COPD patients was in-between (23%). This implies that for the same inhaler dosage severe COPD patients receive a significantly lower lung dose, although, they would need more.
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