Within- and between-day variability of respiratory impedance, using impulse oscillometry in adolescent asthmatics

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2002 Oct;34(4):312-9. doi: 10.1002/ppul.10168.


The objectives of the present study were to: 1) assess spirometric indices and respiratory impedance with forced oscillation (FO), using impulse oscillometry (IOS) in clinically stable asthmatic children over 3 consecutive days; 2) assess FO reactance (X), using an integrated index and resistance (R) separately during inspiration and expiration; and 3) assess effects on FO of hand support of cheeks vs. no hand support. Our hypotheses were: 1) because of increased sensitivity, IOS manifests day-to-day variability not demonstrable by spirometry; 2) IOS R during expiration exceeds that during inspiration; and 3) hand support of cheeks affects IOS R and X only minimally. We obtained triplicate twice-daily measures of IOS R and X in asthmatic adolescents at summer camp, in a convenience sample of children willing, with parental permission, to undergo repeated testing on consecutive days. Subjects received all medications between 6:30-7:30 AM, and were bronchodilated at time of testing. Subjects underwent IOS tests without hand support of cheeks, followed by tests with both hands supporting cheeks. ANOVA and regression analyses were used to discern technique differences.Significant differences in IOS inspiratory R5, R5 - R15 (frequency dependence of R), and low frequency reactance area (AX) occurred across 3 days, but spirometric indices were unchanged. Inspiratory R at 5 Hz (R5) was significantly smaller than expiratory R5 (P < 0.0001). ANOVA revealed no significant differences between hand and facial muscle cheek support for IOS R and X below 15 Hz, but significant differences occurred above 15 Hz. In conclusion, inspiratory R5, R5 - R15, and AX are sensitive measures for detecting changes in bronchomotor tone in adolescent asthmatic subjects, while expiratory R5 may be influenced by additional factors. Manual support of cheeks does not appear to affect IOS indices of peripheral airway obstruction in adolescent asthmatics. IOS is a practical method for quantifying respiratory mechanics, and its potential role in disease management warrants further study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Airway Resistance / physiology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Cheek / physiology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inspiratory Capacity / physiology
  • Male
  • Oscillometry / methods*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Respiratory Function Tests / methods*
  • Respiratory Mechanics / physiology*
  • Spirometry
  • Time Factors