What is recommended regarding interpretation of spirometry results in pulmonary function testing?

Updated: May 14, 2020
  • Author: Kevin McCarthy, RPFT; Chief Editor: Nader Kamangar, MD, FACP, FCCP, FCCM  more...
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Answer

Answer

The reference equations published in 2012 by the Global Lung Initiative (GLI), a Task Force of the European Respiratory Society, provide normative values for males and females from age 3 to 95 years across a wide range of ethnicities, [3] and these should be used as the default set of reference values for spirometry. The use of these predicted values for spirometry has been supported globally, including endorsements from the European Respiratory Society, the ATS, the American College of Chest Physicians, the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, the Australian and New Zealand Society of Respiratory Science, and the Asian Pacific Society for Respirology. The report is in accordance with the previously published recommendations of the ATS that called for the elimination of a fixed percent of predicted cut point to determine normality and a fixed lower limit of normal of the FEV1/FVC ratio to identify airway obstruction, both of which have been shown to result in significant misclassification of spirometry results. [2] Guidelines for a standardized report format have been published and should be the default report format. The use of Z scores to determine severity of spirometric abnormalities is encouraged.

Abnormalities can be classified by the physiologic patterns outlined below.


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