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Children's Chest Research Centre / Respiratory Medicine Research

Head: Dr Karen McKay
Telephone: 9845 3018
Fax: 9845 3082
Location: Clinical Sciences building, level 2

See also: Respiratory clinics in the Hospital's Directory of Bandaged Bear Clinics and Outpatient Services.

The Children's Chest Research Centre (CCRC), which is dedicated to the research into the causes, diagnosis and treatment of respiratory illness in children, commenced operation in the latter part of 1998. Both clinical and laboratory-based research into respiratory disease including cystic fibrosis, asthma and chronic neonatal lung disease is performed, reflecting the predominance of these conditions seen in the Hospital.

The worldwide commitment to the elimination of CFC-containing aerosols has prompted the development of new aerosol formulations of the inhaled medications used to treat respiratory disorders. We have contributed to the evaluation of the safety and efficacy of two of these new medications for use in the treatment of asthma. Improving asthma management is also the subject of a number of our studies including the use of complementary therapies by children with asthma, adherence to management plans in children presenting to hospital with acute asthma, and evaluation of the implementation of asthma management guidelines at this hospital.

We have also focussed our research on improving quality of life of patients with Cystic Fibrosis. Studies performed in pursuit of this goal include the investigation of exercise performance and glucose tolerance of patients with Cystic Fibrosis, the optimal time for administration of medication, the effectiveness of vitamin supplementation, as well as development of a comprehensive database which will be used for long-term studies.

The three major research goals are:

  • optimisation of antimicrobial therapy, clearance of airway secretions and the role of exercise in the management of children with CF
  • design, evaluation and rationalisation of acute asthma management
  • defining the relationship between lung function abnormalities and structural perturbations of the respiratory system in infants, children and young adults.

Other sites of interest

National Asthma Council of Australia -

Asthma Australia -

Department of Health and Aged Care -

Cystic Fibrosis Australia -

Cochrane Neonatal Collaborative Review Group -

Recent Publications:

Fitzgerald DA, Sinha Y, & McKay KO. (2000). Delayed diagnosis of cystic fibrosis in a screened population. Medical Journal of Australia, 172, 238-239.

Fitzgerald DA. (2000). Investigation of the child with dyspnoea. Medicine Today, 6, 101-106.

Fitzgerald DA, Davis GM, & Mesiano G. (2000). Respiratory outcome in extremely low birthweight infants. Pediatrics, 106, 1209-1215.

Isaacs DI, & Fitzgerald DA. (2000). Ten e-pistles for the e-fficient trimillennial physician. JAMA, 284, 806

Isaacs DI, & Fitzgerald DA. (2000). Acronymphilia: An Update. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 83, 517-518.

Massie RJH, Gaskin KJ, Van Asperen PP, & Wilcken B. (2000). Sweat testing following newborn screening for cystic fibrosis. Pediatric Pulmonology, 29, 452-456.

Massie RJH, Wilcken B, Van Asperen PP, Dorney, Gruca, Wiley V, & Gaskin KJ. (2000). Pancreatic function and extended mutation analysis in F508 heterozygous infants with an elevated immunoreactive trypsiongen but normal sweat electrolytes. Journal of Pediatrics, 137 , 214-220.

McKay KO, Johnson PRA, Black JL, & Armour CL. (2000). Parasympathetic neurotransmission in rabbit isolated bronchus is modulated at prejunctional sites via endothelinB receptor stimulation. Respirology, 5, 343-353.

Selvadurai H, & Fitzgerald DA. (2000). Measuring blood oxygen. In David TJ (Ed.), Recent Advances in Paediatrics. (pp. 47-61). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.

Wood LG, Fitzgerald DA, Gibson PG, Cooper DM, & Garg ML. (2000). Lipid Peroxidation as determined by Plasma Isoprostanes is related to Disease Severity in Mild Asthma. Lipids, 35, 967-974.

Yap EYS, Battistini B, & McKay KO. (2000). Contraction to big endothelin-1, big endothelin-2 and big endothelin-3, and endothelin-converting enzyme inhibition in human isolated bronchi. British Journal of Pharmacology, 129, 170-176.

This document was published on Thursday, 21 February 2002

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