What is MetaNeb Therapy Illustration

MetaNeb Therapy and Treatment: An Overview (2024)

by | Updated: Jun 12, 2024

The MetaNeb system is a cutting-edge respiratory therapy device designed to help patients breathe more easily and improve lung function.

Combining lung expansion, secretion clearance, and aerosol delivery into a single integrated therapy session, this innovative system eliminates the need for switching between different devices during treatment.

Indicated for the mobilization of secretions, lung expansion therapy, and the prevention and treatment of pulmonary atelectasis, it has proven to be a valuable tool for addressing various respiratory conditions.

This article provides an overview of MetaNeb therapy, including how it works, its indications and contraindication, and the benefits associated with using it.

What is a MetNeb?

A MetaNeb is a machine used in respiratory care to deliver aerosolized medications to patients. It’s a type of nebulizer that is designed to provide therapy based on the patient’s breathing pattern. This means it can deliver medication during inhalation and pause during exhalation, which can help to maximize the delivery of the medication to the lungs.

MetaNeb Therapy System Machine Image

The MetNeb system is often used in the treatment of conditions like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other respiratory disorders.

It can be used with a variety of medications, including bronchodilators and steroids, to help open up the airways and reduce inflammation.


The MetaNeb system has multiple indications, including the following:

  • Lung expansion therapy
  • To prevent atelectasis
  • To treat atelectasis
  • To mobilize secretions
  • To administer aerosol medication
  • To provide supplemental oxygen


MetaNeb therapy has certain contraindications where the therapy may not be beneficial for the patient. Some examples include:

Note: These contraindications are important to consider to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the therapy. If a patient has any of these conditions, alternative treatments should be considered.


The prognosis of MetaNeb therapy can differ based on an individual’s overall health status and their response to the treatment.

Nevertheless, MetaNeb therapy typically has a favorable outcome in managing symptoms associated with pulmonary conditions.

Studies indicate that MetaNeb therapy can significantly decrease complications related to the lungs following surgery. Additionally, MetaNeb therapy can lessen the duration of mechanical ventilation required and often results in a reduced hospital stay.

How Does a MetaNeb Work?

The MetaNeb system works by providing four specific functions to help improve breathing and lung function. Here’s a breakdown of how each function works:

  • High-frequency oscillation: This function helps safely ventilate your lungs. High-frequency oscillation involves the delivery of small, rapid bursts of air into the lungs. This helps to keep the airways open and can assist in moving mucus out of the lungs.
  • Continuous Positive Expiratory Pressure (CPEP): CPEP helps you breathe easier by expanding your lungs. It involves the delivery of a constant stream of air at a set pressure. This helps to keep the airways open and can prevent the collapse of parts of the lung.
  • Supplemental oxygen: Supplemental oxygen reduces stress on your lungs by providing additional oxygen. The oxygen is usually delivered through a mouthpiece or a facemask that covers both your mouth and nose. This can help ensure that your body is getting the oxygen it needs, even if your lungs are not functioning at their best.
  • Aerosol therapy: Aerosol therapy is delivered through the mouth, nose, or both to help with breathing. It involves the delivery of medication in the form of a mist that can be inhaled into the lungs. This can help to treat the underlying condition and improve lung function.

During MetaNeb therapy, a respiratory therapist will give you a mouthpiece or facemask that is connected to the system. The therapy might include lung expansion, positive pressure, and medicine delivered via aerosol droplets.

Adjustable rates of pressure and oxygen flow help reduce discomfort. The combination of these functions generally shortens the duration of therapy, which typically lasts approximately 10 minutes.

What Conditions Can a MetaNeb Help Treat?

MetaNeb is a versatile therapy system designed to help patients with various respiratory conditions, including the following:

  • Emphysema
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Pulmonary atelectasis
  • Neuromuscular Disorders
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Emergency Airway Management
  • Post-Operative Airway Management

What to Expect During MetaNeb Therapy?

MetaNeb therapy can be administered by medical professionals, whether the patient is conscious or unconscious, such as in the aftermath of a surgical procedure. This therapy is typically conducted in a hospital or similar healthcare facility by a respiratory therapist.

During a MetaNeb therapy session, the patient is provided with a facemask or mouthpiece by a respiratory therapist. The therapy may encompass lung expansion, positive pressure, and the delivery of medication via aerosol spray.

To minimize discomfort, the pressure and oxygen flow rates are adjustable.

The MetaNeb system integrates three distinct functions, which typically results in a shorter therapy duration. However, the exact length of the MetaNeb therapy session can vary depending on the severity of the patient’s lung condition.

Advantages of MetaNeb Therapy

MetaNeb therapy is a noninvasive respiratory treatment that focuses on providing patients with effective airway clearance and lung expansion.


By utilizing innovative technology such as intrapulmonary percussive ventilation (IPV), the therapy delivers calibrated oscillations during inspiration, making it efficient and consistent.

One of the main advantages of MetaNeb therapy is its ability to promote lung expansion, thus helping in the prevention and treatment of pulmonary atelectasis.

Atelectasis, or the collapse of lung tissue, can lead to compromised gas exchange within the lungs and an increased risk of lung infections. By providing lung expansion therapy, the MetaNeb system aims to help patients avoid these complications.

Moreover, MetaNeb therapy assists in airway clearance by creating an alternating pressure gradient through the delivery of high-frequency oscillations during both inspiration and expiration. This pressure difference helps mobilize secretions, facilitating their clearance from the lungs.

The result is less mucus buildup and potential infection prevention.

Another notable advantage is the therapy’s mechanically driven application, which requires minimal patient effort for effective treatment. This can be especially beneficial for patients who struggle with traditional airway clearance techniques due to fatigue or reduced lung capacity.

Additionally, the MetaNeb system can be used as a supplementary oxygen delivery tool when needed. This feature enhances its versatility as a respiratory treatment device, catering to patients with varying oxygen requirements.

FAQs About MetaNeb Therapy

Does a MetaNeb Work?

The MetaNeb system has been implemented for use in diverse patient populations, including those with pneumonia and other respiratory infections.

In a case study carried out on hospitalized patients with pneumonia, the MetaNeb system demonstrated positive outcomes in terms of improved respiratory function and reduced complications.

How can a MetaNeb Help Treat Respiratory Conditions?

Patients with conditions such as asthma, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, bronchiolitis, and chronic bronchitis can greatly benefit from MetaNeb therapy.

By using calibrated oscillations during inspiration up to 3.8Hz, the MetaNeb System assists in airway clearance and effectively treats these respiratory issues.

Furthermore, the device is capable of providing supplemental oxygen when used with compressed oxygen, offering an additional level of support for patients in need.

What is a MetaNeb Used For?

MetaNeb is used for the treatment of various respiratory conditions. It helps patients breathe easier by expanding their lungs, moving secretions, and preventing lung failure.

It’s effective in managing symptoms related to conditions such as Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Emphysema, Cystic Fibrosis, and others.

It can also be used in emergency airway management and post-operative airway management.

Is MetaNeb the Same as IPV?

No, MetaNeb and Intrapulmonary Percussive Ventilation (IPV) are not the same, although they are both used in respiratory therapy.

While both systems deliver aerosolized medication and help clear secretions from the lungs, they operate differently. MetaNeb uses a combination of high-frequency oscillation, continuous positive expiratory pressure, and supplemental oxygen.

On the other hand, IPV delivers short bursts of high-pressure air mixed with aerosolized medication into the lungs, helping to loosen and clear mucus.

Can You Use a MetaNeb at Home?

Typically, MetaNeb therapy is administered in a hospital or other medical facility by a trained respiratory therapist or other medical professional.

However, with proper training and under the guidance of a healthcare provider, it may be possible to use MetaNeb at home.

It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to understand if home use of MetaNeb is suitable and safe for your specific situation.

What are the Benefits of MetaNeb Therapy?

MetaNeb therapy offers several benefits for patients with respiratory conditions. It helps to expand the lungs, clear mucus, and improve breathing, which can provide relief from symptoms associated with conditions like Asthma, COPD, and others.

The therapy can also reduce the time a patient spends on mechanical ventilation and often shortens hospital stays. Additionally, research suggests that MetaNeb therapy can significantly reduce post-surgery pulmonary complications.

What is the Difference Between EzPAP and MetaNeb?

EzPAP and MetaNeb are both respiratory therapy systems, but they operate differently. EzPAP is a form of positive airway pressure therapy that helps to open the airways, improve gas exchange, and mobilize secretions.

On the other hand, MetaNeb therapy combines high-frequency oscillation, continuous positive expiratory pressure, supplemental oxygen, and aerosol therapy to expand the lungs, move secretions, and improve breathing.

What is the Purpose of the MetaNeb System?

The purpose of the MetaNeb System is to provide comprehensive treatment for various respiratory conditions.

It combines four specific functions — high-frequency oscillation, continuous positive expiratory pressure, supplemental oxygen, and aerosol therapy — to help patients breathe easier, expand their lungs, and move secretions.

This can help manage symptoms related to conditions such as Asthma, COPD, and more.

What are the MetaNeb Side Effects?

Generally, MetaNeb therapy is well-tolerated and does not have significant side effects. However, as with any medical treatment, there could be potential side effects depending on the individual’s health status and response to therapy.

These could include discomfort or irritation from the mask or mouthpiece, or temporary changes in breathing patterns.

Note: It’s always recommended to discuss potential side effects with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment.

Final Thoughts

MetaNeb therapy is a beneficial respiratory treatment for managing symptoms associated with a variety of lung conditions, including asthma and COPD.

Consistent and ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the MetaNeb system, as well as proper implementation of chest physiotherapy techniques, ensures that patients receive optimal care and treatment.

Regular assessments, including chest x-rays and careful monitoring of suction practices, contribute to maintaining lung health and reducing the likelihood of complications such as pneumonia, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and alveolar collapse.

Implementing these measures fosters improved respiratory outcomes and increased patient well-being.

John Landry, BS, RRT

Written by:

John Landry, BS, RRT

John Landry is a registered respiratory therapist from Memphis, TN, and has a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. He enjoys using evidence-based research to help others breathe easier and live a healthier life.


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