Normative data for lung function and exhaled nitric oxide in unsedated healthy infants

Fuchs, O; Latzin, P; Thamrin, C; Stern, G; Frischknecht, P; Singer, F; Kieninger, E; Proietti, E; Riedel, T; Frey, U (2011). Normative data for lung function and exhaled nitric oxide in unsedated healthy infants. European respiratory journal, 37(5), pp. 1208-1216. Sheffield, UK: European Respiratory Society 10.1183/09031936.00125510

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Despite association with lung growth and long-term respiratory morbidity, there is a lack of normative lung function data for unsedated infants conforming to latest European Respiratory Society/American Thoracic Society standards. Lung function was measured using an ultrasonic flow meter in 342 unsedated, healthy, term-born infants at a mean ± sd age of 5.1 ± 0.8 weeks during natural sleep according to the latest standards. Tidal breathing flow-volume loops (TBFVL) and exhaled nitric oxide (eNO) measurements were obtained from 100 regular breaths. We aimed for three acceptable measurements for multiple-breath washout and 5-10 acceptable interruption resistance (R(int)) measurements. Acceptable measurements were obtained in ≤ 285 infants with high variability. Mean values were 7.48 mL·kg⁻¹ (95% limits of agreement 4.95-10.0 mL·kg⁻¹) for tidal volume, 14.3 ppb (2.6-26.1 ppb) for eNO, 23.9 mL·kg⁻¹ (16.0-31.8 mL·kg⁻¹) for functional residual capacity, 6.75 (5.63-7.87) for lung clearance index and 3.78 kPa·s·L⁻¹ (1.14-6.42 kPa·s·L⁻¹) for R(int). In males, TBFVL outcomes were associated with anthropometric parameters and in females, with maternal smoking during pregnancy, maternal asthma and Caesarean section. This large normative data set in unsedated infants offers reference values for future research and particularly for studies where sedation may put infants at risk. Furthermore, it highlights the impact of maternal and environmental risk factors on neonatal lung function.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute for Medical Education

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Fuchs, Oliver; Latzin, Philipp; Thamrin, Cindy; Frischknecht, Peter; Singer, Florian; Kieninger, Elisabeth; Proietti, Elena; Riedel, Thomas and Frey, Urs Peter




European Respiratory Society




Eveline Götschmann-Meile

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:13

Last Modified:

11 Sep 2017 17:07

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:




URI: (FactScience: 205747)

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