Aims: The aims of this study were (1) to determine the reference values for impulse oscillometry (IOS) and (2) to apply them to the evaluation of asthma in the general population of young Korean children.
Methods: We performed a questionnaire survey and IOS measurements in 390 children aged 3-7 years in Seoul and Gyeonggi province, Korea, from July to August 2010. IOS measurements included respiratory resistance (Rrs) and respiratory reactance (Xrs) at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 35 Hz, respiratory impedance (Zrs), and resonance frequency (RF) before and 15 min after inhalation of 200 μg salbutamol. To determine the reference values for IOS, 161 children defined as healthy controls were assessed.
Results: The IOS measurements were presented as means and standard deviations. The reference equations for IOS variables were determined by multiple linear regression analysis taking into account their height, weight, and age (R5 = 2.242 - 0.008 × height (cm) - 0.005 × age (months), coefficients of determination (R(2)) = 0.213). Height had the greatest correlation with IOS variables, similar to previous studies. Positive airway obstruction was defined as R5 greater than the 95th percentile of predicted R5 from the reference equation. There was a higher percentage of children with positive airway obstruction in children with asthma than in healthy controls (27.3% vs. 6.2%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that positive airway obstruction was a significant risk factor for the diagnosis of asthma (adjusted odds ratio (aOR), 6.245; 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.270-17.175).
Conclusion: This study provided reference values for IOS in young Korean children and applied the reference values to evaluate children with asthma. We suggest the 95th percentile of predicted R5 as a cut-off value for positive airway obstruction, which may increase the risk for diagnosis of asthma.