Prevalence of tidal expiratory flow limitation in preschool children with and without respiratory symptoms: application of the negative expiratory pressure (NEP) method

Jirickova, A.; Sulc, J.; Pohunek, P.; Kittnar, O.; Dohnalova, A.; Kofranek, J.

Physiological Research 58(3): 373-382


ISSN/ISBN: 0862-8408
PMID: 18637706
Accession: 055162925

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Negative expiratory pressure (NEP) applied at the mouth during tidal expiration provides a non-invasive method for detecting expiratory flow limitation. Forty-two children were studied, i.e. 25 children with different respiratory symptoms (R) and 17 without any respiratory symptoms (NR). Children were examined without any sedation. A preset NEP of -5 cm H(2)O was applied; its duration did not exceed duration of tidal expiration. A significance of FL was judged by determining of a flow-limited range (in % of tidal volume). FL was found in 48 % children of R group. No patient of the NR group elicited FL (P<0.001 R vs. NR). The frequency of upper airway collapses was higher in R group (12 children) than in NR group (5 children). In conclusion, a high frequency of tidal FL in the R group was found, while it was not present in NR group. A relatively high frequency of expiratory upper airway collapses was found in both groups, but it did not differ significantly. NEP method represents a reasonable approach for tidal flow limitation testing in non-sedated preschool children.