To provide an overview of which aspects of lung function can be measured in infants using currently commercially available equipment.
To describe the particular measurement conditions required for infant lung function testing.
To provide information concerning some of the, as yet, commercially unavailable methods.
Summary Lung and airway function can now be measured in infants using standardised methods, allowing for an almost as complete picture of lung function as routinely obtained in adults. Recording systems are now available from several manufacturers. The tests are done during sleep, commonly after sedation with choral hydrate, and in a strictly standardised manner under standardised conditions. Despite the high frequency of chronic chest problems in infants and young children, facilities for assessment of lung function are lacking in many large paediatric centres worldwide. While infant lung function testing is now emerging as a clinical tool, the precise role and the value of the various tests in different clinical situations remain to be established.
- ©ERS 2004
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