Pre/postbronchodilator interrupter resistance values in healthy young children

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2002 May 15;165(10):1388-94. doi: 10.1164/rccm.2011082.


The interrupter technique estimates flow resistance. It entails occlusion of the airways during tidal breathing while flow and mouth pressure are recorded. This noninvasive technique is easy to use in young children. The aim of the present study was to measure inspiratory and expiratory interrupter resistance (Rint(insp), Rint(exp)) before and after bronchodilator administration in young healthy white children. We designed a multicenter study using a standardized procedure for Rint measurements. Centers in five French cities studied 91 children (48 boys and 43 girls; height, 92 to 129 cm; mean age 5.3 +/- 1.4 years). Mean values were not significantly different for Rint(insp) and Rint(exp) (0.78 +/- 0.21 versus 0.78 +/- 0.20 KPa x L(-1) x second). However, the difference between Rint(insp) and Rint(exp) decreased significantly with age and being positive before 5 years and negative later on (p < 0.02). Rint(insp) and Rint(exp) decreased significantly with height (Rint(insp) [KPa x L(-1) x second] = 2.289 - 1.37. 10(-2) x H [cm], Rint(exp) [KPa. L(-1) x second] = 2.021 - 1.12.10(-2) x H [cm]; p < 0.001). Bronchodilator (salbutamol) administration significantly decreased Rint(insp) and Rint(exp) (p < 0.001). Bronchodilator-induced changes (% of predicted values) in mean Rint(insp) and mean Rint(exp) were -15% (95% confidence interval, -46 to +15%) and -12% (95% confidence interval, -46 to +22%), respectively. Sex did not affect pre- or postbronchodilator values. Data from the present study may prove useful for testing lung function in young children with respiratory disorders who failed to cooperate with forced expiratory maneuvers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Airway Resistance / drug effects*
  • Airway Resistance / physiology*
  • Albuterol*
  • Anthropometry
  • Bronchodilator Agents*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Lung Compliance / physiology
  • Male
  • Probability
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange / drug effects
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange / physiology
  • Respiratory Function Tests / methods*
  • Respiratory Mechanics / drug effects
  • Respiratory Mechanics / physiology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Albuterol