NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – In general, measurement of forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) is useful in evaluating the effect of bronchial challenge in asthmatic children, according to Scandinavian researchers.
Dr. L. Pekka Malmberg, of Helsinki University Central Hospital in Finland, and colleagues, sought to determine whether FEV1 measurement, as recommended for testing in adults, might be a suitable means of determining the outcome of histamine challenge in asthmatic children. Their findings appeared in the December issue of Chest.
The researchers conducted spirometric testing and bronchial challenge in 105 asthmatic children using escalating doses of histamine. Compared to measurement of peak expiratory flow, FEV1 yielded better baseline reproducibility and higher sensitivity during challenge.
However, in 16 children, FEV1 recording was not acceptable at various points because of exhalation times of less than a second. These children were significantly younger than those with acceptable exhalations. In six cases, exhalation was below that required for measurement of FEV0.75, but in none was this the case for FEV0.5.
The researchers conclude that the American Thoracic Society guidelines for FEV1 testing during challenge can be applied to children. However, they also point out that shorter FEV times are "more often acceptably recorded" than FEV1, show good reproducibility, and are "equally sensitive in assessing changes in airway obstruction."