Pulmonary diffusing capacity at reduced alveolar volumes in children

Pediatr Pulmonol. 1996 Feb;21(2):84-9. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-0496(199602)21:2<84::AID-PPUL4>3.0.CO;2-P.


The diffusing capacity, when normalized per liter of alveolar volume (DL,CO/VA) decreases in normal adults, whereas their total diffusing capacity (DL,CO) increases as alveolar volume (VA) increases. We studied these relationships in a group of normal children below 20 years of age. Diffusion variables were determined using the single breath technique. The effects of sex, age, and height on these relationships were estimated. DL,CO increased and DL,CO/VA decreased as alveolar volume increased. DL,CO and DL,CO/VA reference values at total lung capacity (TLC) appeared to be comparable to reference values at TLC in the literature. Reference values of DL,CO and DL,CO/VA derived from measurements at various alveolar volumes also predict similar values at TLC. The advantage of our reference equations is their applicability to patients with restrictive lung disease. Actual DL,CO/VA can be compared with reference DL,CO/VA at actual (restrictive) TLC instead of reference DL,CO/VA at reference TLC. This comparison extends the evaluation of a diffusion disorder.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Pulmonary Diffusing Capacity / physiology*
  • Reference Values
  • Regression Analysis
  • Spirometry