LUNG FUNCTION TESTING IN CHILDREN
Background. Lung function testing in children above five years old is standardised similarly as is in adult population (1). Nevertheless bronchial provocation testing can be more hazardous since the calibre and reactivity of childhood airway is different. We analysed the frequency of different lung function testing procedures and addressed the safety issues of bronchial provocation testing in children.
Methods. We analysed lung function testing results in 517 children, older than 5 years, tested in our laboratory in threeyear period. Spirometry was done in every patient, metacholine provocation test was used as a part of diagnostic work-up in suspected asthma. In case of airway obstruction, bronchodilator test with salbutamol was used instead of a metacholine provocation test.
Results. The most common procedure in children was spirometry with bronchial provocation test as a part of diagnostic work-up of obstructive syndrome (mostly asthma). 291 children required metacholine test and 153 tests were interpreted as positive. The decline in expiratory flows (forced expiratory flow in first second – FEV1) in positive tests was greater than in adult population as was the dose of metacholine, needed to induce bronchoconstriction. The compliance of children was better than in adults.
Conclusions. Lung function testing in children is reliable and safe and can be done in a well-standardised laboratory that follows the regulations of such testing in adults.
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