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Can we finally use spirometry in the clinical management of infants with respiratory conditions?
  1. Rachel E Foong1,2,
  2. Graham L Hall1,2,3
  1. 1Department of Paediatric Respiratory Physiology, Telethon Kids Institute, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  2. 2Centre for Child Health Research, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  3. 3School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Graham L Hall, Telethon Kids Institute, Department of Paediatric Respiratory Physiology, P.O. Box 855, West Perth, WA 6872, Australia; Graham.hall{at}telethonkids.org.au

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The goal of health professionals working in respiratory medicine is to diagnose and then manage the health of individuals with respiratory conditions. This requires the engagement of a diverse range of professional disciplines, each with their own tool kit that they bring to the table. For Clinical Respiratory Scientists this tool kit revolves around the quantification of the many facets of cardiopulmonary function. We are all familiar with the use of spirometry, its measurement, reporting and interpretation, and it is often the first tool that comes to hand. Yet increasingly it is being recognised that spirometry may not be the best tool for the job1 and there is a growing awareness that a more thoughtful approach is required.2

One of the most challenging areas of clinical respiratory medicine is the management of infants with respiratory conditions. The clinical picture is often obscured by non-specific signs and symptoms, limited direct clinical trials in this clinical population and the highly complex approach needed to obtain objective measures of respiratory function during infancy. While the measurement of infant lung function (ILF) has a long tradition, its use has until recently been limited to highly specialised research centres often using research hardware and software and localised measurement protocols. These limitations have included a lack of availability of …

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