What are the diagnostic guidelines for pediatric asthma?

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP; Chief Editor: Kenan Haver, MD  more...
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According to the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program guidelines, spirometry is an essential objective measure for establishing the diagnosis of asthma. Additional studies are not routinely necessary, but they may be useful when the clinician is considering alternative diagnoses. [2] Eosinophil counts and IgE levels may be useful when allergic factors are suspected.

Bronchial provocation tests may be performed to diagnose bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR). These tests are performed in specialized laboratories by specially trained personnel to document airway hyperresponsiveness to substances (eg, methacholine, histamine). Increasing doses of provocation agents are given, and FEV1 is measured. The endpoint is a 20% decrease in FEV1 (PC 20 ).

For more information, see the Medscape Reference topic Peak Flow Rate Measurement.

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