Pediatric Pulmonary Program

The UCLA Pediatric Pulmonology Program is a key component of the UCLA Children's Hospital, providing highly collaborative subspecialty care as part of an integrated, region-wide referral network for pediatric patients with acute or chronic respiratory disorders.

Program Experience

In 1996, the UCLA Department of Pediatrics, in partnership with Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, created a comprehensive program for the management of children with respiratory disorders of all kinds.

The UCLA/CHLA Program represents one of five centers in the nation skilled in pulmonary function testing of children from infancy through five years of age. Led by nationally prominent pediatric pulmonologists, the program offers complete assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation, utilizing equipment and facilities that are specifically designed for children.

The director, Dr. Arnold C.G. Platzker, brings to the program over 20 years of experience in top academic and clinical centers on the West Coast. He is joined by senior faculty with special interests and expertise in chronic lung disorders, cystic fibrosis, central and obstructive respiratory control disorders, and immunologically based respiratory diseases such as HIV-associated lung disorders.

Program Approach

The UCLA Pediatric Pulmonology Program offers weekly ambulatory care in the Children's Health Center, as well as 24-hour inpatient consultation and treatment at the UCLA Children's Hospital.

Pulmonary assessment with fiberoptic bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage, is performed either in the UCLA Pulmonary Function Laboratory at the 200 Medical Plaza outpatient facility, or as an inpatient procedure.

Specially designed PFT equipment for infants from birth to three years is operated by technicians trained in pediatric testing. Ongoing PFT is conducted for those patients in whom testing can define the progress of therapy.

In order to plan a more efficient consultation, the patient's family is asked to complete a detailed questionnaire prior to the initial visit. For complex patients, additional testing may be ordered prior to assessment and/or specialty physician consultation may be arranged concurrent with the pulmonology appointment.

Outside medical records and X-rays are reviewed during the initial visit, and a complete history and physical examination is conducted.

Treatment often involves close collaboration with additional specialists, including pediatric cardiologists, immunologists, infectious disease specialists, gastroenterologists, and surgeons, including those working in the UCLA heart and other solid organ transplant programs. Care is coordinated with each patient's referring physician and/or family doctor.

A patient coordinator, specifically assigned to the program provides support to patients and their families, and coordinates inpatient care and testing.

Additional services are provided by hospital social workers, nutritionists, and physical and occupational therapists.

A home care program offering assisted ventilation and other medical and social services is available for patients with acute and chronic respiratory disorders such as cystic fibrosis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and central and obstructive apnea.

Research Applications

Program research is clinically based and collaborative with investigators in other UCLA departments, as well as other academic institutions.

Currently, research is focused on long-term studies of HIV-related lung disease, chronic respiratory failure, and central and obstructive respiratory control disorders.

Team Members

Arnold C.G. Platzker, M.D.
Chief, Division of Pediatric Pulmonology

Michael C. Bowman, M.D.
Associate Visiting Professor, Division of Pediatric Pulmonology

Thomas G. Keens, M.D.
Visiting Professor, Division of Pediatric Pulmonology

Cheryl D. Lew, M.D.
Associate Visiting Professor, Division of Pediatric Pulmonology

Indications for Patient Referral

Children diagnosed with acute or chronic respiratory disorders are candidates for treatment/management in the UCLA Pediatric Pulmonology Program. Common pulmonary disorders treated in the program are:

  • Apnea due to brain stem dysfunction, obstruction, hypoventilation, or sleep-disordered breathing
  • Congenital anomalies and malformations of the airways, chest, diaphragm or lung
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Drug-induced lung diseases
  • Granulomatous and interstitial lung disorders
  • Inflammatory lung disorders due to bronchopulmonary dysplasia, recurrent pneumonias, reactive airway disease, or recurrent aspiration
  • Neonatal lung disorders
  • Acute or chronic respiratory failure
  • Refractory pulmonary symptoms
  • Lung disease in the immunocompromised patient (including HIV)
  • Lung sequelae of solid organ and bone marrow transplantation

    Contact for Patient Referral

    Division of Pediatric Pulmonology
    (310) 825-6481

    If you have any referral problems, or want information about other programs, please call the
    UCLA Physician Helpline,