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Effect of expectorants on relaxation behavior of sputum viscoelasticity in vivo.

Author: Shimura S, Okubo T, Maeda S, Aoki T, Tomioka M, Shindo Y, Takishima T, Umeya K.
Source: Biorheology. 1983;20(5):677-83.

We studied the effects of expectorants (mucolytic agents) in vivo on the relaxation behavior of sputum viscoelasticity. Seven female and thirty-three male patients (56.8 +/- 19.3 yrs, range: 21 to 82 years old) with a chronic pulmonary disease except bronchial asthma were studied. They were randomly put into the control group or a group which would be given oral treatments with an expectorant for a week after a one week washout period. The groups were as follows: Group I (n = 8), control; Group II (n = 7), Bromhexine hydrochloride 24 mg per day; Group III (n = 10), Ambroxol 90 mg per day; Group IV (n = 9) alpha - Chymotrypsin buccle 100 ch.u. per day; Group V (n = 6), Serratiopeptidase 30 mg per day. In Groups IV & V, frequency dependence of sputum viscoelasticity at the range of omega = 10(-3) to 10(0) rad.sec-1 were clearly changed after the treatments, and the magnitude of the relaxation and its main relaxation time were significantly increased. On the other hand, in Groups I, II & III, no significant changes of the frequency dependences were observed. These findings suggest that proteolytic enzymes administered orally work on the molecular structure of sputum, and break down their linkages between subunits of the structure.

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