JOHN C. DONALDSON, M.D., F.A.C.P.; DAVID R. STOOP, M.D., F.A.C.P.; LAWRENCE W. RAYMOND, M.D., F.A.C.P.; JOHN D. ROYALL, M.D.; KIRK E. HIPPENSTEEL, M.D.; ORR M. COBB, M.D.
Since its original description by Sheffner (1), N-acetyl-L-cysteine has been advocated as a useful mucolytic agent in the management of bland and purulent lower respiratory-tract secretions. We have recently found N-acetyl-L-cysteine to be useful as a liquid irrigant in the treatment of mucous impaction when delivered by direct bronchial instillation through the fiberoptic bronchoscope. We report here the excellent clinical responses to this therapy in two patients with status asthmaticus and one with total mucous impaction of the left main-stem bronchus.
A 20-year-old woman was admitted to the intensive care unit in status asthmaticus. Therapy that included parenteral terbutaline, aminophylline,
DONALDSON JC, STOOP DR, RAYMOND LW, ROYALL JD, HIPPENSTEEL KE, COBB OM. Acetylcysteine for Life-Threatening Acute Bronchial Obstruction. Ann Intern Med. ;88:656. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-88-5-656
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1978;88(5):656.
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