Assessing airway inflammation is important for investigating the underlying mechanisms of many lung diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchiectasis, primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) and cystic fibrosis. A growing interest has recently directed toward non-invasive methods for the assessment of airway inflammation. Measurement of exhaled nitric oxide in exhaled air is an exciting innovative technique that gives new insights into the pathophysiology of lung disease and asthma in particular, with many potential clinical applications. Careful standardisation of measurement techniques has facilitated the use of this new measurement in paediatric respiratory medicine. Non-invasiveness and instantaneous results potentially make it a suitable instrument for use in children starting from the age of 4, with useful applications both in asthma diagnosis and monitoring.
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