Oscillometry was responsive and safe in children with acute asthma exacerbations presenting to the emergency department, according to the results of a small feasibility study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Vital signs, Pulmonary Asthma Score, and respiratory impedance by oscillometry were collected in children aged 4 to 18 years who presented to an urban tertiary care children’s hospital emergency department for an acute asthma exacerbation. Oscillometry was performed 3 times: prior to receiving treatment, after completion of initial therapies, and 2 hours postinitial therapy.

Of the 20 children included in the study, the average age was 9.3 years, 50% were boys, and 30% were identified as African American. Overall, there was an average of 31.0 minutes from time of emergency department triage to initial oscillometry assessment, 50.5 between measurements 1 and 2, and 118.3 minutes between measurements 2 and 3. A total of 75% of the participants were able to successfully complete the initial oscillometry assessment. In the remaining 5 patients, 2 were unable to perform because of the severity of exacerbations, and 3 did not have acceptable measurements.

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“Oscillometry may be a valuable bedside measure of lung function to direct [emergency department] treatment and disposition decisions and reduce the clinical morbidity associated with asthma,” the researchers wrote.

Disclosure: Several study authors declared affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.


Navanandan N, Hamlington KL, Mistry RD, Szefler SJ, Liu AH. Oscillometry for acute asthma in the pediatric emergency department: a feasibility study [published online July 8, 2020]. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2020.07.002