Exercise-Induced Changes in Respiratory Impedance inYoung Wheezy Children and Nonatopic Controls

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Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) is a specific sign of active asthma, but its assessment in young children may be difficult with lung function techniques requiring active cooperation. The aim of the study was to assess the normal pattern of exercise-induced responses of respiratory impedance by using impulse oscillometry (IOS), and to investigate how these responses discriminate wheezy children from control subjects. IOS measurements were performed in a consecutive sample of wheezy children aged 3-7 years (n=130) and in an aged matched control group of nonatopic children without respiratory symptoms (n=79) before and after a free running test. After exercise, wheezy children showed significantly larger responses in respiratory resistance (Rrs5), reactance (Xrs5), and the resonance frequency (Fr) than the control subjects. In the control group, the upper 95% confidence limit of the maximal change was 32.5% for Rrs5, 85.7% for Xrs5, and 53.1% for Fr. By using analysis of receiver operating characteristics, the change in Rrs5 distinguished the wheezy children from the control subjects more effectively than change in Xrs5 or Fr. In wheezy children, the response was significantly effected by the outdoor temperature and exercise intensity in terms of maximum heart rate. In conclusion, an increase of 35% in Rrs5 after a free running test can be regarded as an abnormal response. Wheezy children show an enhanced airway response, which is clearly distinguishable from the control subjects. IOS is a feasible method to detect EIB in young children. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2008; 43:538-544. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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