• Diagnostic Testing & Treatment Plans for Children with Asthma

    What We Do

    At Cincinnati Children’s, we understand the impact breathing difficulty can have on everyday activities such as attending school, participating in gym or sports, and getting enough sleep at night.  Our doctors, nurse practitioner and nurses have specialized expertise in pediatric asthma, which can be very different than adult asthma.   Our multi-disciplinary team provides a comprehensive evaluation of your child’s breathing, including state-of-the-art diagnostic testing, in order to provide the best individualized treatment plan to manage your child’s asthma.  We are committed to providing high quality asthma education and training information for you and your child.  The treatment plan that we develop will be shared with your pediatrician or family doctor because s/he is an important part of your child’s asthma care.

    Evidence-Based Care

    Cincinnati Children’s team of experts has developed up to date, evidence based guidelines to provide the best care for your child when he or she is hospitalized for asthma.  The Asthma Center is focused on developing strategies to help you prevent Emergency Room visits and admissions for asthma.  Our application of national and international guidelines for asthma care as well as the results of recent research studies results in better control of your child’s asthma.   A personalized written Asthma Action Plan is provided at every Asthma center visit.  This plan outlines how to control asthma on a daily basis and specific steps for you to take when asthma symptoms do occur.

    Our goal is for your child to have:

    • Rare or no asthma symptoms daily
    • Rare or no acute asthma episodes or attacks (including ER visits or hospitalizations)
    • No limitations on activities or school attendance
    • Minimal use of quick acting rescue medicines such as albuterol
    • A written asthma action plan
    • At least two asthma healthcare preventive visits a year

    We want to help your child be free from troublesome symptoms and sleep through the night without coughing or having trouble breathing.   Your child should be able to play and be involved in activities like children without asthma.  When asthma is well controlled, your child should not miss school and have fewer or no emergency room visits.  We will assure you and your child know what medications he/she should be taking and when they should be taking them and help you identify and control things in the environment that may trigger your child’s asthma.  

    What to Expect When you Visit the Asthma Center

    The Asthma Center staff will talk with you in detail about your child's breathing, take a history of other medical problems and do a physical exam.  There are many other health conditions which can affect asthma.  We will also discuss how to better control your child's asthma, including which medications will help most. 

    We may need to run tests to get more information about your child’s asthma.  Some of the tests we have available are:

    • Spirometry - measures the air flow into and out of the lungs
    • Full lung function testing
    • Infant pulmonary function testing
    • Inhalation challenge tests - helps to find out if your child really has asthma and measure the severity of your child’s asthma
    • Exercise tests - finds out if exercise symptoms are from asthma
    • Exhaled nitric oxide - measures allergic inflammation in the airway
    • Allergy skin testing
    • X-rays and CT scans
    • Bronchoscopy – looking inside the airways with a scope and camera

    Your asthma doctor will decide and discuss with you which of these tests will provide needed information on your child.  Some of these tests can be performed the same day as your Asthma Center visit.

  • Our pulmonology program was rated No. 1 in the country in the 2015-16 list of Best Children’s Hospitals published by U.S. News & World Report.

    We’re among the best at caring for children with lung conditions and related diseases.

  • Learn More

    Learn more about asthma, including signs and symptoms, causes and what to do during an attack.

    Read more
  • Parent Testimonial

    (Cincinnati) Children’s Hospital Asthma Center has dramatically improved my daughter Emma’s health and life over the past 3 years. We had worked with several pediatricians and allergists before finding Dr. Kercsmar, Nurse Valerie, and the rest of the amazing staff at Children’s Asthma Center. Previously, Emma’s asthma attacks were so severe that we would find ourselves in the doctor’s office or emergency room every two weeks with breathing problems. Once we were introduced to Dr. Kercsmar, she thoroughly evaluated our daughter’s health conditions and presented all the options. She then put into place a treatment plan for Emma that we felt comfortable and confident in. Dr. Kercsmar explained the process meticulously, like no other physicians had previously, and made us feel confident with Emma’s Xolair treatment.

    The Xolair treatment itself has been amazing and changed our lives. No more trips to the pediatrician or emergency room. The every 2 week severe asthma attacks Emma once had are now down to 1-2 mild attacks a year that can be treated at home. I simply cannot praise enough the care and treatment my daughter has received from Dr. Kercsmar, Nurse Valerie, and everyone else at Children’s Asthma Center.

    - Tricia Tobergte