Conflicting results have also been reported in the literature as to the value of lung function measurements in predicting outcome in both adults and children with acute asthma.’ In our study, patients who were hospitalized had significantly lower pulmonary function values as compared to those who were discharged home, but the variability of the results was very high. In addition, patients who were discharged home with low FEX^ values did not relapse. Thus, neither the initial nor the final pulmonary function measurements or the absolute change in their value with treatment were helpful in predicting outcome in our study.
This is not to say that pulmonary function measurements are not important in the evaluation of acute asthma. They allow the detection of occult airway obstruction in children who may be asymptomatic, and provide an objective means of following the response to treatment. buy flovent inhaler
The decision of the ER personnel in this study had a high sensitivity in identifying the need for hospitalization, although, we have no data about the specificity of this judgement. In addition, the rate of hospitalization is similar or even lower than that reported by others, indicating that there was no over-hospitalization among our patients, as compared to other centers. Furthermore, studies which have reported lower hospitalization rates for acute asthma had a higher incidence of relapse and subsequent rehospitalization.