University of Oulu

Janne Burman, Leo Pekka Malmberg, Sami Remes, Tuomas Jartti, Anna S. Pelkonen, Mika J. Mäkelä, Impulse oscillometry and free-running tests for diagnosing asthma and monitoring lung function in young children, Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Volume 127, Issue 3, 2021, Pages 326-333, ISSN 1081-1206,

Impulse oscillometry and free-running tests for diagnosing asthma and monitoring lung function in young children

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Author: Burman, Janne1; Malmberg, Leo Pekka1; Remes, Sami2;
Organizations: 1Department of Allergology, Skin and Allergy Hospital, Helsinki University Hospital and University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
2Department of Paediatrics, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
3Department of Pediatrics, Turku University Hospital and University of Turku, Turku, Finland
4Department of Pediatrics, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-11-10


Background: Separating individuals with viral-induced wheezing from those with asthma is challenging, and there are no guidelines for children under 6 years of age. Impulse oscillometry, however, is feasible in 4-year-old children.

Objective: To explore the use of impulse oscillometry in diagnosing and monitoring asthma in young children and evaluating treatment response to inhaled corticosteroid (ICS).

Methods: A total of 42 children (median age 5.3 years, range 4.0-7.9 years) with physician-diagnosed asthma and lability in oscillometry were followed for 6 months after initiation of ICS treatment. All children performed the 6-minute free-running test and impulse oscillometry at 3 time points. After the baseline, they attended a second visit when they had achieved good asthma control and a third visit approximately 60 days after the second visit. A positive ICS response was defined as having greater than 19 points in asthma control test and no hyperreactivity on the third visit.

Results: In total, 38 of 42 children responded to ICS treatment. Exercise-induced increases of resistance at 5 Hz decreased after ICS treatment (61% vs 18% vs 13.5%, P < .001), and running distance during the 6-minute test was lengthened (800 m vs 850 m vs 850 m, P = .001). Significant improvements in childhood asthma control scores occurred between the baseline and subsequent visits (21 vs 24 vs 24, P %lt; .001) and acute physicians’ visits for respiratory symptoms (1, (0–6) vs 0, (0–2), P = .001). Similar profiles were observed in children without aeroallergen sensitization and among those under 5 years of age.

Conclusion: Impulse oscillometry is a useful tool in diagnosing asthma and monitoring lung function in young children.

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Series: Annals of allergy, asthma, & immunology
ISSN: 1081-1206
ISSN-E: 1534-4436
ISSN-L: 1081-1206
Volume: 127
Issue: 3
Pages: 326 - 333
DOI: 10.1016/j.anai.2021.03.030
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Copyright information: © 2021 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (