The value of exhaled nitric oxide in predicting bronchial hyperresponsiveness in children

Michel Ramser, Juerg Hammer, Arnold Amacher, Daniel Trachsel
Journal of Asthma 2008, 45 (3): 191-5
Reduced attention span and motor skills in children limit the practicability of bronchial provocation tests. To assess exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) as a surrogate for bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) in children with possible reactive airway disease, FeNO was measured using the single-breath method in 169 successive outpatients 11 +/- 5 years of age before lung function testing and subsequent bronchial provocation by exercise (n = 165) and methacholine (n = 134). Baseline forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV(1)) less than 80% of predicted and/or BHR were seen in 59%. FeNO correlated weakly with PD(20) to methacholine (r = -0.24, p < 0.05), but not with the change in FEV(1) due to exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) (r = 0.1, p > 0.05). The negative predictive value of FeNO less than 10 ppb for EIB was 94%, but overall accuracy for predicting BHR was low. Measurement of FeNO is not a substitute for bronchial provocation in children.

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