Impulse oscillometry in the evaluation of diseases of the airways in children

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2011 Mar;106(3):191-9. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2010.11.011. Epub 2011 Jan 6.


Objective: To provide an overview of impulse oscillometry and its application to the evaluation of children with diseases of the airways.

Data sources: Medline and PubMed search, limited to English language and human disease, with keywords forced oscillation, impulse oscillometry, and asthma.

Study selections: The opinions of the authors were used to select studies for inclusion in this review.

Results: Impulse oscillometry is a noninvasive and rapid technique requiring only passive cooperation by the patient. Pressure oscillations are applied at the mouth to measure pulmonary resistance and reactance. It is employed by health care professionals to help diagnose pediatric pulmonary diseases such asthma and cystic fibrosis; assess therapeutic responses; and measure airway resistance during provocation testing.

Conclusions: Impulse oscillometry provides a rapid, noninvasive measure of airway impedance. It may be easily employed in the diagnosis and management of diseases of the airways in children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Oscillometry / instrumentation
  • Oscillometry / methods*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / diagnosis*