Lung function measurement in the assessment of childhood asthma: recent important developments.


Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), California, USA.



To present three clinically important developments related to the utilization of pulmonary function to objectively assess the asthmatic child.



The new asthma guidelines (2007) have added the forced expiratory volume in 1 s/forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC) ratio to the FEV1 as spirometric criteria for classifying asthma. Although a better indicator of airway obstruction, it has not clearly been shown to correlate with clinical criteria. The normal cut point for the ratio used in the guidelines of 85% for children may be too high, and compared to the lower limits of normal of 80%, could result in unnecessary treatment in some children. The bronchodilator response (BDR) phenotype reflects airway lability and has been associated with biomarkers of inflammation and responsiveness to inhaled corticosteroids as well as predicting long-term outcomes. Several studies have shown improved spirometric techniques in preschoolers as well as defining normal values in this age group. Impulse oscillometry (IOS), which is less demanding than spirometry, has been shown to identify asthmatic preschoolers in some cases better than spirometry and possibly identifying obstruction in the peripheral airways. It may also be a more useful test than spirometry in evaluating long-term drug studies.



In addition to the FEV1/FVC ratio to detect airway obstruction, the BDR phenotype would appear to give important additional information regarding airway lability and inflammation, and should be included as routine spirometry. IOS is a promising test to identify asthmatic preschoolers, but more studies are needed to determine exactly what it measures and what constitutes normal values.


Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Apr;10(2):149-54. doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e328335ce48.

Randy Clare

Randy Clare

Randy Clare brings to The Sleep and Respiratory Scholar more than 25 years of extensive knowledge and experience in the sleep and pulmonary function field. He has held numerous management positions throughout his career and has demonstrated a unique view of the alternate care diagnostic and therapy model. He is considered by many an expert in the use of oral appliances like Silent Nite, EMA and TAP to treat snoring and sleep apnea in the dental office. Mr. Clare's extensive sleep industry experience assists Sleepandrespiratoryscholar in providing current, relevant, data-proven information on sleep diagnostics and sleep therapies that are effective for the treatment of sleep disorders. Mr Clare is director of business development for Glidewell a dental solutions company his focus is on dental treatment for sleep disordered breathing.

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