COPD: Single lung function test not enough for diagnosis


A single lung function test is insufficient to accurately diagnose chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A team led by Jean-Marie Degryse from the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, studied patients in Northwestern Russia who showed signs of airflow obstruction, as measured by a spirometer, a medical device that records the amount of air inhaled and exhaled and the speed of breath. Among those who initially showed signs of limited lung function, even after treatment with a bronchodilator, a large proportion did not exhibit airflow obstruction on a second spirometry test months later. Moreover, not everyone who had confirmed airflow obstruction were diagnosed with COPD when examined by a pulmonologist. Some had asthma or asthma-COPD overlap syndrome. The findings point to the need for clinical assessments and follow-up spirometry tests to accurately diagnose and manage COPD. Learn more


Published on November 16, 2017