Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in school-aged children who had chronic lung disease in infancy

J Pediatr. 2013 Apr;162(4):813-818.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.09.040. Epub 2012 Oct 27.


Objectives: To assess for exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in 8- to 12-year-old children who had chronic lung disease (CLD) in infancy, and to evaluate the response of bronchoconstriction to bronchodilation with albuterol in comparison with preterm and term controls.

Study design: Ninety-two children, including 29 with CLD, 33 born preterm at ≤32 weeks' gestation, and 30 born at term, underwent lung spirometry before and after cycle ergometry testing and after postexercise bronchodilation with albuterol.

Results: Doctor-diagnosed asthma and exercise-induced wheeze were reported more frequently in the CLD group than in the preterm and term groups, but only 10% were receiving a bronchodilator. There were no differences among the groups in peak minute ventilation, oxygen uptake, or carbon dioxide output at maximum exercise. After maximal exercise, predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) decreased from a mean baseline value of 81.9% (95% CI, 76.6-87.0%) to 70.8% (95% CI, 65.5-76.1%) after exercise in the CLD group, from 92.0% (95% CI, 87.2-96.8%) to 84.3% (95% CI, 79.1-89.4%) in the preterm group, and from 97.5% (95% CI, 92.5-102.6%) to 90.3% (95% CI, 85.1-95.5%) in the term group. After albuterol administration, FEV1 increased to 86.8% (95% CI, 81.7-92.0%) in the CLD group, 92.1% (95% CI, 87.3-96.9%) in the preterm group, and 97.1% (95% CI, 92.0-102.3%) in the term group. The decrease in predicted FEV1 after exercise and increase in predicted FEV1 after bronchodilator use were greatest in the CLD group (-11.0% [95% CI, -18.4 to -3.6%] and 16.0% [95% CI, 8.6-23.4%], respectively; P < .005 for both), with differences of <8% in the 2 control groups.

Conclusion: School-age children who had CLD in infancy had significant exercise-induced bronchoconstriction that responded significantly to bronchodilation. Reversible exercise-induced bronchoconstriction is common in children who experienced CLD in infancy and should be actively assessed for and treated.

MeSH terms

  • Albuterol / therapeutic use
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced / drug therapy
  • Bronchoconstriction / drug effects*
  • Bronchodilator Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Diseases / complications
  • Lung Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Sounds
  • Spirometry / methods


  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Albuterol