A measurement of the air left in the lungs at the end of a normal exhalation may help detect lung disease in children diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) during newborn screenings.
Also, a cut-off value of 36 breaths per minute may help identify children with hyperinflated lungs, which occurs when the lungs are overinflated due to trapped air.
The study, “Hyperinflation is associated with increased respiratory rate and is a more sensitive measure of cystic fibrosis lung disease during infancy compared to forced expiratory measures,” was published in the journal Pediatric Pulmonology.
Even with the availability of newborn screening, measures of lung function in children are key for prompt treatment intervention and to slow disease progression.
However, assessing lung function in infants is challenging because current methods, such as chest CT scans, require sedation and expose the child to radiation.