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Drug Delivery to the Lung FREE TO VIEW

Charles H. Hobbs, DVM
Chest. 2003;123(1):316-317. doi:10.1378/chest.123.1.316
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by Hans Bisgaard, Chris O’Callaghan, Gerald C. Smaldone, eds. New York: Marcel Dekker, 2002, 511 pp; $175

A large effort is currently underway to improve methods of delivering drugs to the respiratory tract for the treatment of pulmonary diseases and for systemic therapy. The multi-authored text reviewed here is No. 162 of the series of monographs entitled “Lung Biology in Health and Disease.” The authors are all experts in their own areas of aerosol characterization, device development, drug formulation, and patient compliance. The preface states that the book is intended to communicate “recent advances in the understanding of lung dose and major innovations in the device technology,” for “clinicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists interested in the role of aerosol delivery for optimal management of lung diseases.”

The book has 14 chapters, starting with a brief and interesting history of inhaled drug delivery and covering numerous topics related to drug delivery to the respiratory tract. Three chapters relate to the basic principles of particle behavior and sizing, the influence of structure and function of the respiratory tract on aerosol deposition, and in vitro characterization of aerosols. These chapters provide excellent background on the physical parameters of particles that influence their deposition in various regions of the human respiratory tract. Three more chapters discuss factors that affect clinical outcome, the measurement of the amount of materials deposited in the respiratory tract, and strategies for targeting specific regions in the respiratory tract. The final six chapters discuss devices such as nebulizers, metered-dose inhalers, and dry powder inhalers, which are currently used or being developed to deliver drug aerosols to the respiratory tract. The final chapter addresses compliance with therapies used to treat asthma.

Each chapter is well written and very detailed. Frankly, the book may be more detailed than many clinicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists would want. The only detraction is that, in many chapters, the text and the figure legends do not always match. This could lead to confusion, especially if a reader does not have sufficient background to know that the text reads one way and the figure may say the opposite. However, in general, the book is an excellent and detailed reference for those with a high interest in the development of drugs for aerosol delivery.




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