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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Pulmonary Medicine

The physicians and staff of the pediatric pulmonary section at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital provide comprehensive evaluation and management for a wide variety of pulmonary disorders. These include:

  • Apnea, or abnormal breathing pattern
  • Asthma
  • Birth defects
  • Bronchiectasis (a progressive disease defined by widened airways and mucus in the lungs)
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (problems that occur in premature infants with underdeveloped lungs)
  • Cystic fibrosis (CF)
  • Neuromuscular disorders leading to chronic lung problems
  • Recurrent and persistent pneumonias
  • Sleep-related breathing problems
  • Unusual respiratory infections

We also provide ongoing care for children who require chronic ventilator support at home, such as those with muscular dystrophy or spinal cord injuries.

Detecting Lung Problems in Children

Specialized tests--including minimally invasive procedures--are available to help determine the cause of even the most complicated respiratory problems in children. Such minimally invasive tests spare your child from trauma and discomfort.

Some of the tests available include:

  • Fiberoptic bronchoscopy to help doctors view inside the lungs
  • Chest X-rays, computed tomography, and ventilation-perfusion scans to help doctors view the anatomy of your child's lungs
  • Sweat testing and genetic testing to diagnose cystic fibrosis
  • Pulmonary function testing
  • Infant pulmonary function testing
  • Tests to assess lung function in children with exercise-induced symptoms
  • Sleep studies to detect breathing problems during sleep

Therapies to Improve Breathing

Our team will develop an individualized treatment plan that can help your child breath easier. Medicines, such as bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory drugs, can help keep your child's airways open and improve breathing if your child has asthma. Medications also can help children with CF improve their lung function and control troublesome symptoms of the disease.

In addition, airway clearance devices can help those CF or diseases that cause severe muscle weakness.

Your child's treatment may include special feeding and nutrition, particularly if your child was born prematurely. Our doctors also can outline exercise and rehabilitation strategies to help maximize your child's lung function so he or she can remain as active as possible.