Bronchial challenge test (BCT) measures current airways-hyperreactivity, however, its predictive role in pre-school children (<6 years) for the diagnosis of asthma at school age is still debatable. We aimed to find whether preschool children with a positive adenosine or methacholine BCT are more prone to asthma at school age.
We included children aged 6-13 years with respiratory symptoms that were previously referred to our pulmonary function laboratory for BCT (methacholine or adenosine, depending on the question asked) at age 10 months to 6 years (baseline). BCT was considered positive based on spirometry results or wheezing, desaturation, and tachypnea reactions. The primary outcome measure was asthma diagnosis at school age using the well-validated International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaire. We used logistic regression analysis to explore whether positive BCT could predict school-age asthma while including age and collected modified asthma predictive index in the model.
One hundred and fifty-one of 189 children (53% males), completed the ISAAC questionnaire (response rate = 80%). Mean ages at BCT and at follow-up were 3.9 ± 1.28 and 9.4 ± 1.85 years, respectively. At baseline, 40 of 67 had a positive adenosine test and 73 of 84 had a positive methacholine BCT. Thirty-nine children were diagnosed with asthma at school age. Logistic regression analysis showed that a positive adenosine test at pre-school age was the best predictor, significantly increasing the odds of asthma at school age by 6.34 (95% CI: 1.23-32.81, p = .028), while methacholine did not show significance (p = .69).
Choosing the relevant BCT for the question asked, positive adenosine, but not methacholine test, at pre-school, may predict asthma at school age.

© 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC.