Feasibility of exhaled nitric oxide measurements at various flow rates in children with asthma

C.M. Robroeks*, D. van Vliet, H.J. Hendriks, E.D. Dompeling, Q. Jöbsis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Measurement of bronchial and alveolar exhaled nitric oxide (NO) levels could be of clinical importance for the treatment of asthma. To discriminate between alveolar and bronchial NO, measurements need to be assessed at various flow rates. To study the feasibility, linearity, and long-term repeatability of NO measurements at four different exhalation flow rates in children with asthma. Twenty-one children with moderate persistent asthma, aged 6-12 yrs, were included in the study. NO was measured according to the ATS/ERS guidelines, using the NIOX analyzer with flow restrictors of 30, 50, 100, and 200 ml/s. Duration of the measurements ranged from 6-10 s, depending on the flow rate. The tests were repeated 3 and 6 months after the first NO measurement. Feasibility of NO measurements at these four flow rates increased from 67% to 91% and 95% at the first, second and third visit, respectively. A significant learning effect was present. Age and lung function indices did not influence success or failure of the tests. At the first measurements occasions, no problems occurred during the NO analysis at a 100 ml/s flow rate. There was a 75-90% success rate when performing the test using flow rates of 30, 50, and 200 ml/s. However, repeating the tests resulted in a 100% success rate. Measurements were not successful if: (i) children ran out of air; (ii) NO concentration exceeded 200 ppb; (iii) the measured NO flow was unstable; and (iv) the NO plateau was not formed. This study showed good feasibility and linearity of NO measurements in asthmatic children of 6 yrs and over at flow rates between 50-200 ml/s. A significant learning effect was present. The long-term reproducibility of alveolar and bronchial NO values during 6 months was moderate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e222-e228
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Issue number1 Pt II
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • childhood asthma
  • exhaled nitric oxide
  • alveolar
  • bronchial
  • non-invasive
  • NO


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