Local Doctors Develop New Asthma Test

asthma(KDKA) PITTSBURGH Doctors at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh have developed a new way to find out if children are suffering from asthma.

Often times when dealing with the youngest patients, doctors cannot label it asthma because patients are too young for a definitive diagnostic test called spirometry.

You have to be six or older, and be able to breathe in deeply and blow out all the air.

"That maneuver is very difficult and requires a lot of effort," said Dr. Jonathan Finder. "It's very hard to get children to understand the concept."

Dr. Finder is using new technology to diagnose asthma in children as young as three.

It's called oscillometry.

"All they have to do is breathe in a normal fashion, without effort," said Dr. Finder.

While the two tests are quite different, the new one can show how severe a young child's asthma is -- that way the doctor can start effective treatment sooner.

"The secret to success in a disease like asthma is being anticipatory, and in knowing when to treat and treating aggressively," said Dr. Finder.

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