Exhaled carbon monoxide levels in preschool-age children with episodic asthma

Pediatrics International, 04/26/2012

Ohara Y et al. – The measurement of exhaled carbon monoxide (eCO) using a novel collecting system is useful in the recognition of asthma in preschool children.


  • A sampling bag was developed to collect the exhaled air of preschool children.
  • A total of 257 preschool-age children were studied; 111 had a diagnosis of asthma (43 suffering a mild asthma attack and 68 without active asthmatic symptom), 99 had upper respiratory infection (URI) and 47 were healthy.


  • In preschool-age children, eCO levels of those with asthma attacks (mean ± SE, 2.7 ± 0.3 p.p.m., n= 43) were significantly higher than those of subjects with asymptomatic asthma (0.5 ± 0.1 p.p.m., P < 0.05), URI (0.8 ± 0.1 p.p.m., P < 0.05) and healthy children (0.4 ± 0.1 p.p.m., P < 0.05).
  • A multivariate linear regression model showed that eCO was higher in children with asthma attacks independent of age and gender.
  • In 33 asthmatic children followed before and after treatment, eCO levels during asthma attacks significantly decreased after inhalation therapy with a combination of salbutamol and sodium cromoglycate (before therapy, 2.9 ± 0.4 p.p.m.; after therapy, 0.6 ± 0.1 p.p.m., P < 0.0001).

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