Paediatric Pulmonology Unit

Paediatric Pulmonology Unit was established in 1989 as “Respiratory Laboratory”. It is one of two Greek centers recognized by the European Respiratory Society providing Paediatric Pulmonology specialization.

Our respiratory service provides secondary care for children with a range of respiratory problems. Patient groups include those with asthma and other wheezing disorders, cystic fibrosis, chronic cough, bronchiectasis, congenital abnormalities and airway problems.

The service is able to provide a comprehensive assessment, diagnostic and therapeutic package for patients with the full range of common and rare respiratory problems.

We have a multi-professional team of doctors, specialist nurse, physiotherapists and psychologist who aim to provide specialist care for children, working in partnership with parents. We offer a full range of diagnostic services including overnight sleep studies, bronchoscopy, specialist respiratory physiology and radiology, assessment and monitoring of non-invasive ventilation and allergy testing.


The staff of the Unit are currently seven doctors, 1 nurse, 1 secretary and 1 physiotherapist.
Medical: John N. Tsanakas, Professor in Respiratory Paediatrics, AUTH – Head of Unit, Fotis Kirvassilis, Senior Lecturer in Respiratory Paediatrics, AUTH, Elpis Hatziagorou, Paediatric Respiratory Medicine-NHS, Poppi Kontouli, Pediatrician-AUTH Research Fellow, AUTH, Nicos Karantaglis, Pediatrician-Research Fellow, AUTH, Vasiliki Avramidou, Research Fellow, AUTH.

Paramedical staff: Katerina Baka, Respiratory Nurse, Vaso Tsifodimou, Secretary, Aleka Christara, Professor of Physiotherapy.

How the service works

General Respiratory clinics are held three days a week. We also hold regular Cystic Fibrosis, Chronic Lung Disease, Home Ventilation and Difficult Asthma clinics.
The service undertakes more than 100 bronchoscopies per year and looks after more than 15 children per annum with empyema, the majority requiring chest drains. Hospitalized children include children with acute respiratory disease (acute asthma attacks, acute laryngitis, bronchiolitis, empyemas) and chronic lung diseases (cystic fibrosis, ciliary dyskinesia syndrome, sleep apnea syndrome, interstitial lung disease).

The respiratory unit is able to undertake comprehensive lung function and exercise testing and offers a regional diagnostic service. (Flexible Bronchoscopy, Spirometry, reversibility test, Measurement of lung function in infants and preschool children (FRC,LCI, Rint), Overnight oximetry, Cardio Pulmonary ExerciseTesting on a treadmill or bicycle ergometer, Broncho-Hyper-Responsiveness testing (methacholine or hypertonic NaCl), Exhaled nitric oxide, Induced sputum, Sweat test, 24 –hour pH-monitoring).

Cystic Fibrosis Unit:

It serves consistently over 116 children with cystic fibrosis (out of 145 patients registered and were hospitalized at different times), both in outpatient and in-patient care and hospitalization. Finally, supportive physiotherapy and education is provided by physiotherapists both from the Hospital and the voluntary contribution of Professor Christara Aleka and associates.


Research projects include:

  1. GAIN. International study of asthma genetics (Genetics asthma international network).
  2. DISABKIDS: European Study on quality of life of children with
    chronic diseases (2002)
  3. ISAAC 1-3: Global study on the incidence of asthma and allergies in the pediatric population.
  4. START: Early steroid treatment in Pediatric Asthma (2002).
  5. ISAAC 5: Monitoring the children of ISAAC 1-3 for the evolution of the natural history of asthma (2007).
  6. International CF network 2007
  7. Pollution and environmental cooperation program of the School of Engineering and the Department of Forestry University of Thessaloniki, 2007
  8. FRAST. National screening program for children with asthma in primary schools, while education-information for teachers (1998).
    Eleven theses have been completed, while three more theses are performed at the moment. Finally, to date 35 pediatricians have followed our respiratory clinics.

Access to the service

Referral from Paediatricians, or from Regional Hospitals is to the respiratory clinics. (tel. +30 2310892435)