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Clinical Insights

Basic of Spirometry part 2 of 2

Abstract:

Evolution of lung diseases
Lung diseases are currently the 6th most common cause of death. WHO predicts that lung diseases will be the 3rd most common cause of death in 2020. While other causes of mortality (heart disease, CAUSES cancer, etc) are diminishing, lung diseases continue to kill ceaselessly.

Early diagnosis of lung diseases: COPD
Respiratory diseases are very often asymptomatic and remain silent during a long period of 5-15 years. When the f rst symptoms become evident, the illness has already reached an irreversible stage and consequently becomes an inf rmity.

The illness can be detected with an X-ray or blood gas, but this detection is often too late. [Data: Hyatt et al, 1997]

Spirometry is the best standard diagnostic tool, being the most reproducible and objective for screening respiratory diseases. GOLD, Global Initiative for Cronic Lung Disease

Diagnosis for smokers
A spirometry test should be routinely performed on patients older than 45 years who report smoking cigarettes (current smokers and those who quit the previous year) Consensus statement from National Lung Health Education Program Chest 2000; 117: 1146-1161

Spirometry for all
In our experience through several national and international projects*, GIVEN THE APPROPRIATE TRAINING the GP is able through the correct use of a spirometer to recognise and to diagnose COPD as well as asthma. The spirometer is one of the key tools he must use. * See DIDASCO abstract ATS 2002

Spirometry
Spirometry is at the forefront of evaluations of respiratory function. It is a screening test. The lung function test measures the f ow (velocity) and volume of air exhaled during a forced exhalation and then a forced inhalation.

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