Dalhousie dyspnea scales: Pictorial scales to measure dyspnea during induced bronchoconstriction

Paul Pianosi, Chloe P. Smith, Anthony Almudevar, Patrick J. McGrath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to validate our Dalhousie Dyspnea Scales in children referred for histamine bronchoprovocation challenge. Seventy-four children rated their dyspnea after each FEV1 measurement following inhalation of doubling histamine concentrations from 0.125 to 8.0 mg/ml by the standard tidal breathing method. Serial FEV1 and dyspnea rating using the Dalhousie Dyspnea Scales were recorded and Kendall's tau was computed for dyspnea rating versus fall in FEV1. Subjects were split into those with positive (ΔFEV1 ≥ 20% with PC20 ≤ 8 mg/ml) or negative histamine challenge test. During histamine inhalation, dyspnea ratings on each of the subscales rose as FEV1 fell across subjects, whether or not they were histamine-responsive (main effect), and then fell dramatically following relief of induced obstruction by bronchodilator. The Dalhousie Dyspnea Scales are useful and accurate tools to measure dyspnea due to bronchoconstriction in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1182-1187
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric pulmonology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Asthma
  • Bronchoconstriction
  • Children
  • Dyspnea
  • Histamine


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