Lung function testing in preschool-aged children with cystic fibrosis in the clinical setting

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2010 May;45(5):419-33. doi: 10.1002/ppul.21192.


In cystic fibrosis (CF) lung function testing is a means of monitoring progression of lung disease. The preschool years have often been referred to as the "silent years" due to the previous lack suitable measures of lung function testing in this age group. This review outlines the various techniques of lung function testing in preschool children with CF in the clinical setting. This includes measures requiring tidal breathing including the forced oscillation technique, the interrupter technique, plethysmography, and multiple breath washout, as well as spirometry that requires respiratory maneuvers. We describe the feasibility and variability of different lung function methods used in preschoolers and report measurements made during tidal breathing have greater feasibility, although greater variability compared to spirometry. We also report associations with lung function and markers of CF lung disease. In the preschool age group measurements made during tidal breathing may be more appropriate in the clinic setting than those that require a higher degree of cooperation and specific respiratory maneuvers.maneuvers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Lung / abnormalities
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Oscillometry / methods
  • Plethysmography
  • Radiography
  • Respiratory Function Tests / instrumentation
  • Respiratory Function Tests / methods*
  • Spirometry
  • Tidal Volume


  • Bronchodilator Agents