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History and Evolution of Aerosolized Therapeutics*: Overview and Introduction

Stanley B. Fiel, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

*From the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, MCP Hahnemann School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA.

Correspondence to: Stanley B. Fiel, MD, FCCP, Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, 4th Floor, 3300 Henry Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19129; e-mail: stanley.fiel@drexel.edu



Chest. 2001;120(3_suppl):87S-88S. doi:10.1378/chest.120.3_suppl.87S
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Extract

Aerosolized therapeutic agents have been used to relieve diseases of the airways since early in medical history. The earliest versions were medicines that were added to boiling water and inhaled. Today’s more sophisticated aerosolized therapeutic agents are delivered via ultrasonic compressors, jet nebulizers, dry powder inhalers, and metered-dose inhalers. The delivery of aerosolized therapeutic agents for systemic activity or locally to the airways via inhalation confers numerous advantages. Advances in the formulation of pharmacologic agents, coupled with newly designed aerosol devices, have expanded treatment options to accommodate various and specific patient factors (ie, incoordination, breathing, breath holding, and flow rate). Investigators are working in a variety of clinical areas, including systemic disorders such as diabetes, Paget’s disease, and pain management, and in diseases localized to the airways, such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, and bronchiectasis.

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