Paediatric spirometry guideline of the South African Thoracic Society: Part 1

R Masekela, D Gray, C Verwey, A Halkas, P M Jeena


Spirometry forms an important component in the diagnosis and management of pulmonary diseases in children. In the paediatric setting, there are different challenges in terms of performance and interpretation of good quality and reliable tests. An awareness of the physiological and developmental aspects that exist in children is necessary to improve the quality and reliability of spirometry. We reviewed the recommendations on the technical aspects of performing spirometry in children, from the available guidelines and clinical trials. The focus was on the indications, methods and the interpretation of lung function tests in children <12 years of age. Reliable lung function testing can be performed in children, but an awareness of the limitations, the use of incentives and a dedicated lung function technologist are necessary. 

Authors' affiliations

R Masekela, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Steve Biko Academic Hospital and University of Pretoria, South Africa

D Gray, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and University of Cape Town, South Africa

C Verwey, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

A Halkas, Private Practice, Krugersdorp Private Hospital, Krugersdorp, South Africa

P M Jeena, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital and University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Full Text



paediatrics; lung function; spirometry; clinical guideline

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2013;103(12):1036-1041. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.7239

Article History

Date submitted: 2013-07-05
Date published: 2013-10-11

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