Impulse oscillometry system as an alternative diagnostic method for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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We aimed to compare impulse oscillation system (IOS) and traditional pulmonary function tests (PFTs) for the assessment of the severity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and to assess the use of IOS parameters to identify patients who were forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1)%pred < 50%.

Patients with COPD (n = 215) were enrolled at the Ninth Hospital of Xi’an Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University between October 2014 and September 2016. All patients were assessed by traditional PFT and IOS. Diagnostic performance of IOS parameters to determine indication for patients of FEV1%pred < 50% was assessed on receiver-operating characteristics (ROC) curve analysis.

Out of 215 patients, 18, 83, 78, and 36 patients were classified as grade 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively, according to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) severity grading. On Spearman correlation analysis, FEV1%pred, MMEF 75%–25%, and residual volume/total lung capacity (RV/TLC) correlated with total respiratory impedance (Z5)%pred, resistance at 5 Hz (R5)-resistance at 20 Hz (R20), R5-R20% R5, R5, R5%pred, frequency response (Fres), reactance area (Ax), and reactance at 5 Hz (X5). On ROC curve analysis, the area under the curve (AUC) of X5 absolute value, Fres, Ax, Z5%pred, R5-R20, and R5-R20% R5 were 0.748, 0.755, 0.760, 0.705, 0.715, and 0.735, respectively, for COPD patients who required inhalational glucocorticoid therapy.

IOS parameters showed a good correlation with traditional pulmonary function parameters; reactance parameters showed a stronger correlation than that of the resistance parameters. IOS can be used as an alternative method for pulmonary function assessment in patients with COPD with FEV1%pred < 50% who need inhalational glucocorticoid therapy.

Clinical trial registration number: ChiCTR-OCH-14004904.

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