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During the past 20 years there has been enormous progressin the field of infant lung function testing, with respect to therange of tests and equipment now available, their applications inresearch and clinical studies, and the degree of national andinternational collaboration. The major role for lung functiontesting in infants remains firmly within the research arena,whereit has been extensively used to examine the early determinantsof airway function and to investigate underlying pathophysiologyand response to therapeutic interventions in a variety of respiratorydiseases during early life. During recent years there hasbeen increasing emphasis on developing techniques that can beused in unsedated infants and for those requiring ventilatorysupport. Future strategies need to encompass a multicenter,multidisciplinary, collaborative approach, with results from infantpulmonary function tests being integrated with those fromother disciplines, including imaging, genetics, inflammation andimmunology. The aims of this chapter are to (1) provide anoverview of the extent to which infant lung function tests havebeen used in clinical and epidemiological research in the past,(2) describe some of the recently developed techniques thatmay have increasing application in future years and (3) considerpotential future contributions of infant pulmonary functiontesting in the management of respiratory disease during infancy.

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