Comparison of respiratory system impedance in asthma and COPD: A prospective observational study

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Abstract

Background and objective

A single assessment of within-breath variations of respiratory system reactance (Xrs) at 5 Hz (ΔX5) measured by the forced oscillation technique (FOT) has been reported to be useful for the detection of pathophysiological changes in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. We examined longitudinal changes in respiratory system resistance (Rrs) and Xrs during tidal breathing between stable asthma and COPD patients in order to clarify the features of changes of respiratory system impedance and airflow limitation for these conditions.

Methods

Between April 2013 and September 2013, outpatients with a COPD or asthma diagnosis were recruited. We examined forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and FOT every 6 months until September 2015. Annual changes were estimated from the linear regression curve slope.

Results

We included 57 and 93 subjects with COPD and asthma, respectively. The median follow-up period was 26 months (range: 24–29 months). Within-breath analysis showed that the difference between mean Rrs at 5 Hz and 20 Hz was significantly lower, and ΔX5 more negative, in COPD than in asthma patients. With regard to annual changes, only ΔX5 was significantly different, more negative, in COPD than in asthma patients. Comparing between COPD subjects of Global Initiative Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) stage I/II and those with asthma, there were no significant differences in respiratory system impedance at enrolment, while annual change in ΔX5 was significantly more negative in mild COPD than in asthma patients.

Conclusion

ΔX5 may be useful for long-term assessment of airflow limitation in COPD.

SUMMARY AT A GLANCE

Changes in a single assessment of within-breath variations of respiratory system reactance (Xrs) at 5 Hz (ΔX5) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are significantly greater than in patients with asthma. ΔX5 may reflect the pathophysiological changes in COPD and can be useful for its long-term assessment.

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