Outcome of children with respiratory symptoms without objective evidence of asthma: a two-year, prospective, follow-up study

Acta Paediatr. 1998 Feb;87(2):165-8. doi: 10.1080/08035259850157606.


This study evaluated the outcome of 33 children with asthma-like symptoms without objective evidence of asthma, and the role of certain factors in predicting the development of clinical asthma in these children. Data on symptom histories, lung functions (flow-volume spirometry, free running test and methacholine inhalation challenge test) and atopic sensitization (skin prick tests and markers of eosinophilic inflammation) were collected twice with an interval of 2 y, and the diagnoses were re-evaluated after the follow-up period. Based on the results, it was concluded that one-third of the children with prolonged or recurrent lower airway symptoms, such as cough or wheeze, either have mild asthma or will develop asthma in the near future. Children who had a significant response [> or = 10% fall in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1)] in the free running test formed a risk group for active asthma, whereas other baseline characteristics seemed not to predict the outcome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / complications*
  • Asthma / diagnosis*
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Child
  • Cough / complications*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / diagnosis
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Peak Expiratory Flow Rate
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Sounds*
  • Skin Tests
  • Surveys and Questionnaires