Controling of Your Child's Asthma

Impulse oscillometry could determine small airway obstruction and asthma control

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Asthma control is an important, but difficult, aspect of the disease for parents. A non-invasive test can help measure control which can lead to better treatment.

Understanding asthma control has been speculative at best according to researchers. Using impulse oscillometry (IOS) can be an objective way to determine control of a child's asthma.

By examining small and large airway blockage, doctors can have a better understanding of how effective a child's asthma treatments are as well as the severity of asthma.

"Ask your child's doctor about current tests to determine asthma control."

The study was led by from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of California at Irvine and involved 115 children, who were between six and 17 years of age. Of the 115 children, 44 had uncontrolled asthma, 57 had controlled asthma and 14 children were healthy and did not have asthma. Using IOS, researchers discovered children with uncontrolled asthma had different small airway IOS scores which could help determine asthma control.

IOS is a non-invasive breathing test. IOS uses sound waves to detect any breathing resistance. IOS can be used to detect any obstructions in the small or large airways of the lungs. IOS was administered three times to the 115 children before and after researchers used a bronchodilator.

Researchers discovered a difference in small airway IOS in children with uncontrolled asthma when compare to children with controlled asthma and healthy children. There was no difference in large airway IOS scores among the three groups of children as well as after the usage of bronchodilator.

IOS was effective in determining if a child had uncontrolled asthma, controlled asthma or was healthy more than 80 percent of the time. The researchers were able to create IOS thresholds that were effective in determining uncontrolled asthma and controlled asthma. Researchers believed that the current system of using patient history is subjective and may not be the best way to determine asthma control.

Future studies can lead to a better understanding the role of IOS in asthma control and can focus on how effective small airway obstruction is as a way to determine asthma control.

As a non-invasive tool, IOS could be used in the future to help determine asthma control in children. This can help doctors determine the effectiveness of prescribed treatments and lead to better asthma management for children.  

The study was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. No author conflicts were reported.

This study was published in the March edition of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
March 5, 2012
Last Updated:
March 7, 2012