Impact of lung disease on respiratory impedance in young children with cystic fibrosis
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This study aimed to evaluate the ability of the forced oscillation technique (FOT) to detect underlying lung disease in preschool children with cystic fibrosis (CF) diagnosed following newborn screening. 184 children (aged 3–6 years) with CF underwent lung function testing on 422 occasions using the FOT to assess respiratory resistance and reactance at the time of their annual bronchoalveolar lavage collection and chest computed tomography scan. We examined associations between FOT outcomes and the presence and progression of respiratory inflammation, infection and structural lung disease. Children with CF who had pronounced respiratory disease, including free neutrophil elastase activity, infection with pro-inflammatory pathogens and structural lung abnormalities had similar FOT outcomes to those children without detectable lung disease. In addition, the progression of lung disease over 1 year was not associated with worsening FOT outcomes. We conclude that the forced oscillation technique is relatively insensitive to detect underlying lung disease in preschool children with CF. However, FOT may still be of value in improving our understanding of the physiological changes associated with early CF lung disease.
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