What is single-breath counting (SBC), and when is it useful in the diagnosis of asthma?

Updated: Nov 20, 2020
  • Author: Michael J Morris, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Single-breath counting (SBC) is a novel technique for measuring pulmonary function in children. SBC is the measurement of how far an individual can count using a normal speaking voice after one maximal effort inhalation. The count is in cadence to a metronome that is set at 2 beats per second. A study by Ali et al determined that SBC correlates well with standard measures of pulmonary function. [63] However, further studies are needed to establish values and to evaluate the use in an ED population of patients with acute asthma exacerbation.

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