Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 21, Issue 12, pp 2213–2218 | Cite as

Aerosol Profile Extracted from Spacers as a Determinant of Actual Dose

  • Sylvia Verbanck
  • Chris Vervaet
  • Daniël Schuermans
  • Walter Vincken

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We propose a novel method to evaluate the efficacy of a pressurized metered dose inhaler (pMDI) in combination with a spacer, by not only considering the total dose extractable from the spacer but also the dependence of dose on the volume available for aerosol inhalation.


We studied volume-dependence of aerosol concentration during extraction from two commonly used plastic spacers (150 ml AerochamberPlus; 750 ml Volumatic) after a single puff of a 100 μg salbutamol pMDI (HFA-Ventolin), using laser photometric measurements.


After a delay of 1s in each spacer, the aerosol peak dose for AerochamberPlus was 2-fold that for Volumatic (p < 0.001), with the peak appearing well within the first 0.5 L even for the largest spacer. The opposite dose relationship is reached when considering total cumulative dose, which was 2-fold higher for Volumatic than for AerochamberPlus (p < 0.001); >95% of total cumulative dose was extracted well within 3 L for the largest spacer. The 2-fold cumulative dose relationship was confirmed by chemical assay on an absolute filter [AerochamberPlus: 21.4 ± 3.2 (SD) μg; Volumatic: 43.8 ± 9.1 (SD) μg].


Actual aerosol dose available to patients during inhalation via spacers can only be done on the basis of a quantification of aerosol peak dose and cumulative dose as a function of extracted volume.

Key words:

aerosol dose metered dose inhalers spacers 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sylvia Verbanck
    • 1
  • Chris Vervaet
    • 2
  • Daniël Schuermans
    • 1
  • Walter Vincken
    • 1
  1. 1.Respiratory Division, Academic HospitalVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Laboratory of Pharmaceutical TechnologyUniversiteit GentGhentBelgium

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