ISSN - 0973-0958
Mahesh Rathod, B.B. Javadekar, Deepak Pande.
Dept. Of Pediatrics, M.P.Shah Medical College and G.G. Hospital, Jamnagar.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the specificity, sensitivity, tolerance and impact of the Exercise Challenge Test (ECT) on diagnosis of various clinical types of asthma.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted in the Asthma Clinic, Dept. of Pediatrics, M.P. Shah Medical College and G.G. Hospital, Jamnagar. 6-12 yrs old children (n=58) diagnosed as mild intermittent asthma (MIA) (n= 39), cough variant asthma (CVA) (n=10), and nocturnal asthma (NA) (n=9) constituted the study group; 40 normal children were enrolled as controls. Those with co-morbidity, severe malnutrition or receiving pharmacotherapy for their asthma were not included. ECT was administered as per the standard recommendations. Follow up of cases was done for one year. Results were statistically analyzed.

RESULTS: ECT had specificity of 97.5%; sensitivity 72% over all and sensitivity in MIA was 72%, CVA 60% and in NA it was 77% when used with PEFR. No serious adverse events were noted. 25% subjects had minor - short lasting, self-limiting complications. On follow up, in 64% of available cases, diagnosis was reconfirmed by fresh episodes of documented wheezing and response to bronchodilator therapy

CONCLUSIONS: ECT is a fairly specific, sensitive, useful and safe test in the diagnosis of bronchial asthma in school age children where available history and/or physical examination are suggestive, but not conclusive. Therefore, it can augment early diagnosis and management of asthma including preventive measures.
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