The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 85, Issue 8, pp 651–657 | Cite as

Tools in Asthma Evaluation and Management: When and How to Use Them?

  • Anna Mulholland
  • Alana Ainsworth
  • Naveen PillarisettiEmail author
Review Article


The goals of asthma management are accurate diagnosis, prompt initiation of treatment and monitoring of disease progression to limit potential morbidity and mortality. While the diagnosis and management is largely based on history taking and clinical examination, there are an increasing number of tools available that could be used to aid diagnosis, define phenotypes, monitor progress and assess response to treatment. Tools such as the Asthma Predictive Index could help in making predictions about the possibility of asthma in childhood based on certain clinical parameters in pre-schoolers. Lung function measurements such as peak expiratory flow, spirometry, bronchodilator responsiveness, and bronchial provocation tests help establish airway obstruction and variability over time. Tools such as asthma questionnaires, lung function measurements and markers of airway inflammation could be used in combination with clinical assessments to assess ongoing asthma control. Recent advances in digital technology, which open up new frontiers in asthma management, need to be evaluated and embraced if proven to be of value. This review summarises the role of currently available tools in asthma diagnosis and management. While many of the tools are readily available in resource rich settings, it becomes more challenging when working in resource poor settings. A rational approach to the use of these tools is recommended.


Asthma Wheeze Management Evaluation Childhood Preschool 



AM and AA: Did a review of literature, wrote part of the manuscript and reviewed the manuscript; NP: Conceptualised the manuscript, wrote part of the manuscript, reviewed, approved the final draft of the manuscript and will act as guarantor for the paper. Anna Mulholland is a clinical and research fellow funded by The Starship Foundation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest


Source of Funding



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Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Mulholland
    • 1
  • Alana Ainsworth
    • 1
  • Naveen Pillarisetti
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Pediatric Respiratory Medicine, Starship Children’s HospitalAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, Child and Youth HealthUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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