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Use of maximum expiratory flow-volume curve parameters in the assessment of exercise-induced bronchospasm. FREE TO VIEW

F Haas; K Axen; J S Schicchi
Chest. 1993;103(1):64-68. doi:10.1378/chest.103.1.64
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Abstract

Exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) is often inferred from the reduction after exercise in one arbitrarily selected value derived from the maximum expiratory flow-volume (MEFV) curve (eg, FEV1) on a single test; however, patients with symptoms of EIB not meeting these criteria may risk being undiagnosed. To assess the ability of repeated tests using additional MEFV parameters in identifying EIB-prone patients, we investigated the effects of exercise provocation on the MEFV curve on two separate occasions. Of 95 patients with symptoms of EIB, 61 had reproducible exercise-induced changes (< 10 percent intraresponse variation), falling into four patterns: 27 (44 percent) had significantly reduced VC and airflow throughout the MEFV curve; 18 (30 percent) had unchanged VC but decreased airflow throughout the curve; 11 (18 percent) had reduced airflow above 50 percent VC but not below 50 percent VC; and 5 (8 percent) had significant reductions in airflow only at 50 percent VC or below. Of the other 34 subjects, 18 had no apparent response, and 16 responded on only one occasion, making objective assessment of these patients' EIB equivocal. We conclude that for a given individual, failure to meet arbitrary criteria does not rule out EIB. Additionally, a more subjective approach that integrates, among other factors, all routine MEFV curve parameters taken from multiple tests with clinical symptoms and history provide a more accurate assessment of EIB.


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