Heightened airway responsiveness in normal female children compared with adults

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18 Scopus citations


Studies have suggested that airway responsiveness declines with maturation; however, studies comparing infants, children, and adults are confounded by differences in size as well as maturation. Therefore, to determine whether maturation has a significant affect on airway responsiveness, we compared normal female children (n = 9; mean age = 13.6 yr) and adults (n = 7; mean age = 42.4 yr) who were matched for body size. Bronchial challenge tests were performed with increasing methacholine concentrations to a maximum of 30 mg/ml. At baseline, there were no significant differences between the two groups in lung volumes (TGV, RV, TLC) or flow-volume curves (FEV1, average forced expiratory flow rate between 25% and 75% of the vital capacity [FEF25-75], FVC). All subjects but one adolescent completed the challenge (30 mg/ml). The children had a greater percentage decline from baseline in FEV1 than the adults (17 versus 7% p < 0.03). The percentage decline in FEF25-75 was greater for the children than for the adults, but the difference was not statistically significant (35 versus 20%, p < 0.10). Compared with the children, the adults more often demonstrated a plateau in their dose-response curves for FEV1 (22 versus 86%) and for FEF25-75 (33 versus 100%). We conclude that normal female children have a greater airway responsiveness to inhaled methacholine than do adults, and that this difference is not related to baseline lung size, airway caliber, or delivered methacholine dose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)678-681
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number3 I
StatePublished - Mar 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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