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Spirometry in Primary Care

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1 Spirometry in Primary Care
Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) 2010

2 Spirometry - Introduction
Spirometry is the gold standard for COPD diagnosis Underuse leads to inaccurate COPD diagnosis Widespread uptake has been limited by: Concerns over technical performance of operators Difficulty with interpretation of results Lack of approved local training courses Lack of evidence showing clear benefit when spirometry is incorporated into management

3 What is Spirometry? Spirometry is a method of assessing lung function by measuring the total volume of air the patient can expel from the lungs after a maximal inhalation.

4 Why Perform Spirometry?
Measure airflow obstruction to help make a definitive diagnosis of COPD Confirm presence of airway obstruction Assess severity of airflow obstruction in COPD Detect airflow obstruction in smokers who may have few or no symptoms Monitor disease progression in COPD Assess one aspect of response to therapy Assess prognosis (FEV1) in COPD Perform pre-operative assessment

5 Spirometry – Additional Uses
Make a diagnosis and assess severity in a range of other respiratory conditions Distinguish between obstruction and restriction as causes of breathlessness Screen workforces in occupational environments Assess fitness to dive Perform pre-employment screening in certain professions

6 Types of Spirometers Bellows spirometers:
Measure volume; mainly in lung function units Electronic desk top spirometers: Measure flow and volume with real time display Small hand-held spirometers: Inexpensive and quick to use but no print out

7 Volume Measuring Spirometer

8 Flow Measuring Spirometer

9 Desktop Electronic Spirometers

10 Small Hand-held Spirometers

11 Standard Spirometric Indicies
FEV1 - Forced expiratory volume in one second: The volume of air expired in the first second of the blow FVC - Forced vital capacity: The total volume of air that can be forcibly exhaled in one breath FEV1/FVC ratio: The fraction of air exhaled in the first second relative to the total volume exhaled

12 Additional Spirometric Indicies
VC - Vital capacity: A volume of a full breath exhaled in the patient’s own time and not forced. Often slightly greater than the FVC, particularly in COPD FEV6 – Forced expired volume in six seconds: Often approximates the FVC. Easier to perform in older and COPD patients but role in COPD diagnosis remains under investigation MEFR – Mid-expiratory flow rates: Derived from the mid portion of the flow volume curve but is not useful for COPD diagnosis

13 Lung Volume Terminology
Inspiratory reserve volume Inspiratory capacity Total lung capacity Tidal volume Expiratory reserve volume Vital capacity Residual volume

14 Spirogram Patterns Normal Obstructive Restrictive
Mixed Obstructive and Restrictive

15 Spirometry Predicted Normal Values

16 Predicted Normal Values
Affected by: Age Height Sex Ethnic Origin

17 Criteria for Normal Post-bronchodilator Spirometry
FEV1: % predicted > 80% FVC: % predicted > 80% FEV1/FVC: > , depending on age

18 Normal Trace Showing FEV1 and FVC
5 4 FEV1 = 4L FVC = 5L FEV1/FVC = 0.8 Volume, liters 3 2 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 Time, sec


20 Spirometry: Obstructive Disease
Normal 5 4 3 Volume, liters FEV1 = 1.8L FVC = 3.2L FEV1/FVC = 0.56 2 Obstructive 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 Time, seconds

21 Diseases Associated With Airflow Obstruction
COPD Asthma Bronchiectasis Cystic Fibrosis Post-tuberculosis Lung cancer (greater risk in COPD) Obliterative Bronchiolitis

22 Spirometric Diagnosis of COPD
COPD is confirmed by post–bronchodilator FEV1/FVC < 0.7 Post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC measured 15 minutes after 400µg salbutamol or equivalent

23 Bronchodilator Reversibility Testing
Provides the best achievable FEV1 (and FVC) Helps to differentiate COPD from asthma Must be interpreted with clinical history - neither asthma nor COPD are diagnosed on spirometry alone

24 Bronchodilator Reversibility Testing
Can be done on first visit if no diagnosis has been made Best done as a planned procedure: pre- and post-bronchodilator tests require a minimum of 15 minutes Post-bronchodilator only saves time but does not help confirm if asthma is present Short-acting bronchodilators need to be withheld for at least 4 hours prior to test

25 Bronchodilator Reversibility Testing
Dose FEV1 before and after Salbutamol 200 – 400 µg via large volume spacer 15 minutes Terbutaline 500 µg via Turbohaler® Ipratropium 160 µg** via spacer 45 minutes * Some guidelines suggest nebulised bronchodilators can be given but the doses are not standardised. “There is no consensus on the drug, dose or mode of administering a bronchodilator in the laboratory.” Ref: ATS/ERS Task Force : Interpretive strategies for Lung Function Tests ERJ 2005;26:948 ** Usually 8 puffs of 20 µg

26 Figure 5.1-6. Bronchodilator Reversibility Testing in COPD
GOLD Report (2009)

27 Figure 5.1-6. Bronchodilator Reversibility Testing in COPD
Preparation Tests should be performed when patients are clinically stable and free from respiratory infection Patients should not have taken: inhaled short-acting bronchodilators in the previous six hours long-acting bronchodilator in the previous 12 hours sustained-release theophylline in the previous 24 hours

28 Figure 5.1-6. Bronchodilator Reversibility Testing in COPD
Spirometry FEV1 should be measured (minimum twice, within 5% or 150mls) before a bronchodilator is given The bronchodilator should be given by metered dose inhaler through a spacer device or by nebulizer to be certain it has been inhaled The bronchodilator dose should be selected to be high on the dose/response curve (…..continued)

29 Figure 5.1-6. Bronchodilator Reversibility Testing in COPD
Spirometry (continued) Possible dosage protocols: 400 µg β2-agonist, or µg anticholinergic, or the two combined FEV1 should be measured again: 15 minutes after a short-acting bronchodilator 45 minutes after the combination

30 Figure 5.1-6. Bronchodilator Reversibility Testing in COPD
Results An increase in FEV1 that is both greater than 200 ml and 12% above the pre- bronchodilator FEV1 (baseline value) is considered significant It is usually helpful to report the absolute change (in ml) as well as the % change from baseline to set the improvement in a clinical context


32 Criteria: Restrictive Disease
FEV1: normal or mildly reduced FVC: < 80% predicted FEV1/FVC: > 0.7

33 Spirometry: Restrictive Disease
Normal 5 4 3 Volume, liters Restrictive FEV1 = 1.9L FVC = 2.0L FEV1/FVC = 0.95 2 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 Time, seconds

34 Diseases Associated with a Restrictive Defect
Pulmonary Fibrosing lung diseases Pneumoconioses Pulmonary edema Parenchymal lung tumors Lobectomy or pneumonectomy Extrapulmonary Thoracic cage deformity Obesity Pregnancy Neuromuscular disorders Fibrothorax

35 Mixed Obstructive/Restrictive
FEV1: < 80% predicted FVC: < 80% predicted FEV1 /FVC: < 0.7

36 Mixed Obstructive and Restrictive
Normal Volume, liters FEV1 = 0.5L FVC = 1.5L FEV1/FVC = 0.30 Obstructive - Restrictive Time, seconds Restrictive and mixed obstructive-restrictive are difficult to diagnose by spirometry alone; full respiratory function tests are usually required (e.g., body plethysmography, etc)

37 SPIROMETRY Flow Volume

38 Flow Volume Curve Standard on most desk-top spirometers
Adds more information than volume time curve Less understood but not too difficult to interpret Better at demonstrating mild airflow obstruction

39 Flow Volume Curve Maximum expiratory flow (PEF) FVC Volume (L)
Expiratory flow rate L/sec FVC RV TLC Inspiratory flow rate L/sec Volume (L)

40 Flow Volume Curve Patterns Obstructive and Restrictive
Severe obstructive Restrictive Expiratory flow rate Expiratory flow rate Expiratory flow rate Volume (L) Volume (L) Volume (L) Reduced peak flow, scooped out mid-curve Steeple pattern, reduced peak flow, rapid fall off Normal shape, normal peak flow, reduced volume

41 Spirometry: Abnormal Patterns
Obstructive Restrictive Mixed Volume Volume Volume Time Time Time Slow rise, reduced volume expired; prolonged time to full expiration Fast rise to plateau at reduced maximum volume Slow rise to reduced maximum volume; measure static lung volumes and full PFT’s to confirm

42 Performing Spirometry
PRACTICAL SESSION Performing Spirometry

43 Spirometry Training Training is essential for operators to learn correct performance and interpretation of results Training for competent performance of spirometry requires a minimum of 3 hours Acquiring good spirometry performance and interpretation skills requires practice, evaluation, and review Spirometry performance (who, when and where) should be adapted to local needs and resources Training for spirometry should be evaluated

44 Obtaining Predicted Values
Independent of the type of spirometer Choose values that best represent the tested population Check for appropriateness if built into the spirometer Optimally, subjects should rest 10 minutes before performing spirometry

45 Withholding Medications
Before performing spirometry, withhold: Short acting β2-agonists for 6 hours Long acting β2-agonists for 12 hours Ipratropium for 6 hours Tiotropium for 24 hours Optimally, subjects should avoid caffeine and cigarette smoking for 30 minutes before performing spirometry

46 Performing Spirometry - Preparation
Explain the purpose of the test and demonstrate the procedure Record the patient’s age, height and gender and enter on the spirometer Note when bronchodilator was last used Have the patient sitting comfortably Loosen any tight clothing Empty the bladder beforehand if needed

47 Performing Spirometry
Breath in until the lungs are full Hold the breath and seal the lips tightly around a clean mouthpiece Blast the air out as forcibly and fast as possible. Provide lots of encouragement! Continue blowing until the lungs feel empty

48 Performing Spirometry
Watch the patient during the blow to assure the lips are sealed around the mouthpiece Check to determine if an adequate trace has been achieved Repeat the procedure at least twice more until ideally 3 readings within 100 ml or 5% of each other are obtained

49 Reproducibility - Quality of Results
Volume, liters Time, seconds Three times FVC within 5% or 0.15 litre (150 ml)

50 Spirometry - Possible Side Effects
Feeling light-headed Headache Getting red in the face Fainting: reduced venous return or vasovagal attack (reflex) Transient urinary incontinence Spirometry should be avoided after recent heart attack or stroke

51 Spirometry - Quality Control
Most common cause of inconsistent readings is poor patient technique Sub-optimal inspiration Sub-maximal expiratory effort Delay in forced expiration Shortened expiratory time Air leak around the mouthpiece Subjects must be observed and encouraged throughout the procedure

52 Spirometry – Common Problems
Inadequate or incomplete blow Lack of blast effort during exhalation Slow start to maximal effort Lips not sealed around mouthpiece Coughing during the blow Extra breath during the blow Glottic closure or obstruction of mouthpiece by tongue or teeth Poor posture – leaning forwards

53 Equipment Maintenance
Most spirometers need regular calibration to check accuracy Calibration is normally performed with a 3 litre syringe Some electronic spirometers do not require daily/weekly calibration Good equipment cleanliness and anti-infection control are important; check instruction manual Spirometers should be regularly serviced; check manufacturer’s recommendations

54 Examples - Unacceptable Traces
Troubleshooting Examples - Unacceptable Traces

55 Unacceptable Trace - Poor Effort
Normal Volume, liters Variable expiratory effort Inadequate sustaining of effort May be accompanied by a slow start Time, seconds

56 Unacceptable Trace – Stop Early
Normal Volume, liters Time, seconds

57 Unacceptable Trace – Slow Start
Normal Volume, liters Time, seconds

58 Unacceptable Trace - Coughing
Normal Volume, liters Time, seconds

59 Unacceptable Trace – Extra Breath
Normal Volume, liters Time, seconds

60 Some Spirometry Resources
Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) - Spirometry in Practice - ATS-ERS Taskforce: Standardization of Spirometry. ERJ 2005;29: National Asthma Council: Spirometry Handbook


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