In many healthcare settings asthma in children is a clinical diagnosis based on parental reported symptoms. These include intermittent episodes of wheezing, breathlessness and periodic nocturnal dry cough. Increased symptoms often coincide with colds. Confirming a diagnosis of asthma in children can be difficult and recent reports highlight that misdiagnosis, including over- and under-diagnosis of asthma are common. Recent UK National Institute of Health and Care Excellence guidelines recommend diagnostic algorithms for children from five years and adults to support a clinical suspicion of asthma. Spirometry, bronchodilator reversibility and fractional exhaled nitric oxide testing are the first line tests to diagnose asthma in children. The introduction of these tests across all healthcare settings has the potential to reduce misdiagnosis, improve asthma management and reduce healthcare spending for asthma.
Keywords: Asthma; Child; Diagnosis; FeNO; Spirometry; Wheeze.
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