Which tests are performed in the evaluation of pediatric asthma?

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP; Chief Editor: Kenan Haver, MD  more...
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Tests used in the diagnosis of asthma include the following:

  • Pulmonary function tests: Spirometry and plethysmography

  • Exercise challenge: Involves baseline spirometry followed by exercise on a treadmill or bicycle to a heart rate greater than 60% of the predicted maximum, with monitoring of the electrocardiogram and oxyhemoglobin saturation

  • Fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) testing: Noninvasive marker of airway inflammation

  • Radiography: Reveals hyperinflation and increased bronchial markings; radiography may also show evidence of parenchymal disease, atelectasis, pneumonia, congenital anomaly, or a foreign body

  • Allergy testing: Can identify allergic factors that may significantly contribute to asthma

  • Histologic evaluation of the airways: Typically reveal infiltration with inflammatory cells, narrowing of airway lumina, bronchial and bronchiolar epithelial denudation, and mucus plugs

See Workup for more detail.

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