A simple exercise test would be useful for detecting exercise-induced asthma, a common problem in asthmatic children. The current study compared the 3-min step test with treadmill exercise for evaluating exercise-induced asthma in asthmatic children and assessed whether responses to both tests are influenced by baseline lung function and habitual physical activity. A series of 154 asthmatic children (84 male children; mean age 12.9 +/- 0.9 yrs) underwent a 3-min step-test and treadmill testing on different days within a week at least 24 h apart. Before both tests each subject did spirometry to obtain the baseline forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1). After both exercise challenges all to subjects did serial spirometry and the lowest FEV1 recorded over time was used. calculate the fall in FEV1 expressed as a percentage of the measured pre-exercise (baseline) value (% fall in FEV1) and the area above the FEV1 curve (AAC(0-30 min)) expressed as a percentage of the pre-exercise value. Changes in both exercise variables were also analysed in percentile subgroups defined by questionnaire answers on habitual physical activity in hours. The mean % fall in FEV1 was significantly higher for treadmill exercise than for the step test (15.0+/-7.5 versus 11.7+/-5.9); and the AAC(0-30 min) was larger for treadmill than for the step test (-261.6+/-139.9% versus -197.3+/-105.0% min). In all subgroups defined by habitual physical activity the mean % fall in FEV1 decreased more after treadmill exercise than after the step test. After step test and treadmill exercise no significant correlation was found between % fall in FEV1 and baseline lung function, or between % fall in FEV1 among groups defined by habitual physical activity. Although the 3-min step test yields a lower %,, fall in forced expiratory volume in one than treadmill second (FEV1) and a lower value of the area above the FEV1 curve testing, it is a quick, economical, reproducible and portable alternative procedure for identifying exercise-induced asthma in outpatients and epidemiological studies. Baseline lung function and habitual physical activity have no influence on the amount or duration of exercise-induced asthma.
3-Min step test and treadmill exercise for evaluating exercise-induced asthma / Tancredi, Giancarlo; Quattrucci, Serena; F., Scalercio; DE CASTRO, Giovanna; Zicari, Anna Maria; Bonci, Enea; S., Cingolani; Indinnimeo, Luciana; Midulla, Fabio. - In: EUROPEAN RESPIRATORY JOURNAL. - ISSN 0903-1936. - STAMPA. - 23:4(2004), pp. 569-574. [10.1183/09031936.04.00039704]