Which tests can help guide treatment for acute severe asthmatic episodes (status asthmaticus) in pediatric asthma?

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP; Chief Editor: Kenan Haver, MD  more...
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Answer

The use of the peak flow rate or FEV1 values, patient's history, current symptoms, and physical findings to guide treatment decisions is helpful in achieving the aforementioned goals. When using the peak expiratory flow (PEF) expressed as a percentage of the patient's best value, the effect of irreversible airflow obstruction should be considered. For example, in a patient whose best peak flow rate is 160 L/min, a decrease of 40% represents severe and potentially life-threatening obstruction.

An Australian study by Vuillermin et al found that asthma severity decreased in school-aged children when parents initiated a short course of prednisolone for acute asthma. [66] Children who received parent-initiated prednisolone for episodes of asthma had lower daytime and nighttime asthma scores, reduced risk of health resource use, and reduced school absenteeism compared with children who received placebo.


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