Sputum Induction in Children With Asthma: A Tertiary-Center Experience

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Our aims were 1) to report on our experience with sputum induction (SI), and 2) to determine predictive factors associated with successful SI in asthmatic children. Children with asthma attending the chest clinic of a university teaching hospital between October 2003-December 2004 were recruited. They completed a visual analogue scale for symptom severity, and underwent physical examination, skin-prick test, exhaled nitric oxide (eNO) measurement, spirometry, and SI. Adequate sputum contained <50% squamous epithelial cells. Predictors for successful induction were evaluated using multivariate logistic regression analysis. One hundred and thirty subjects were recruited. The median age was 11.25 years (range 7.0-17.5), and the majority were boys (75%). All except two had normal percent predicted forced expired volume in 1 sec (>80%). The median eNO was 48.95 ppb. Sputum induction was successful in 93 subjects (74.5%). Sore throat and chest discomfort occurred in 20 (15%) and 8 (6%) subjects, respectively, and the procedure was prematurely terminated in three cases. Levels of eNO were found to be a predictorfor successful induction (area under the ROC (receiver operator characteristics curves) curve, 0.634). Sputum induction was well-tolerated by all subjects, and was successful in 74.5% of cases. Exhaled nitric oxide may be a useful marker for successful induction. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2006; 41:720-725. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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