FRC measurements using body plethysmography in young children

Daphna Vilozni, Ori Efrati, Fahed Hakim, Adi Adler, Galit Livnat, Lea Bentur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Measurement of FRC in whole body plethysmography (FRCpleth) is not performed in young children (aged 3-5 years) because it involves sitting alone in a closed box and breathing attempts against occlusion. Objective: To assess the feasibility of measuringFRCpleth in young children. Methods and Results: Seventy-one of 102 children (age range 3.3-6.9 years) performed spirometry and FRCpleth measurements. Twenty-six children had controlled asthma (Group-A); 26 children were tested during asthma exacerbation had uncontrolled asthma (Group-UA), and 19 childrenwere tested after receiving chemotherapy treatment (Group-C). Tests according to adult recommendations were first taught outside the plethysmograph and then performed with minor technical adaptations. Each test included two consecutive FRC measurements obtained during 2-3 sec of occlusion. Total lung capacity (TLC) and residual volume (RV) were calculated. Values were compared to FRC measured by Helium-dilution (FRC-He) in healthy preschool children and to extrapolated FRCpleth values of school children, and between the groups. Results: Group-A showed normal spirometry and normal TLC values, with mildly elevated FRCpleth and RV values (125±20 and 153±33 %predicted, respectively; P<0.0001 for both values). Group-UA showed obstructed flows combined with high FRCpleth and RV (146±26 and 189±38 %predicted; P<0.0001) and normal TLC. Group-C showed a restrictive spirometry pattern combined with lower than normal TLC (86 ± 15 %predicted; P<0.0251). Conclusions: Measuring absolute lung volumes by plethysmography in young children is feasible and can detect abnormal lung volumes. It is essential to study a larger group of healthy children for reference values and to allow for standardization of the procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-891
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Asthma
  • Early childhood
  • Functional residual capacity
  • Hemato-oncological diseases
  • Plethysmography


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