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Opinions/Hypotheses |

Small Airways Obstruction Syndrome*

Dan Stănescu, MD, PhD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Pulmonary Laboratory and Division, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Correspondence to: Dan Stănescu, MD, PhD, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Avenue Hippocrate 10, 1200 Bruxelles, Belgium; e-mail: Stanescu@pneu.ucl.ac.be



Chest. 1999;116(1):231-233. doi:10.1378/chest.116.1.231
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Study objectives: To clarify the significance of a functional lung pattern characterized by a decreased vital capacity (VC) and an increased residual volume (RV), but with a normal FEV1/VC ratio.

Setting: A university teaching hospital.

Subjects: Patients with bronchial asthma, pulmonary emphysema, and small airways disease, and older subjects.

Measurements: Measurements of static and dynamic lung volumes, diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (as measured by the single-breath method), nitrogen slope of the alveolar plateau, and closing volume (as measured by the single-breath O2 test).

Conclusion: A functional pattern characterized by a decreased VC and FEV1 and increased RV, but with a normal FEV1/VC ratio and total lung capacity, reflects an obstructive impairment of small airways.


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