PURPOSE: Obesity may be associated with severe impairment of ventilation, involving both volumes and respiratory dynamics, however, few studies have been done with morbidly obese adults. This protocol aimed to evaluate the influence of obesity on pulmonary function in the preoperative period.
METHODS: Morbidly obese patients (n= 49), age 44.3±11.1 years, body mass index 52.4±18.0 kg/m2, 83.7% females, were prospectively analyzed. All were candidates for bariatric intervention (Lap Band). Methods included anthropometrics and spirometry. Forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) were used as principal measures of ventilatory function. All patients were clinically stable, and none of them suffered from chronic obstructive lung disease or reported chronic cough, dyspnea or cyanosis.
RESULTS: Forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) were significantly lower than in the normal population. However, these findings were not statistically influenced by anthropometric results. Obese individuals also presented significantly reduced expiratory reserve volume (ERV), which negatively correlated with BMI.
CONCLUSION: 1) Pulmonary function was clearly diminished in asymptomatic morbidly obese surgical candidates; 2) Both patients with lower and higher BMI were similarly affected; 3) Only findings for expiratory reserve volume were influenced by BMI.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: PFT's should be performed to screen for undetected pulmonary disease in morbidly obese patients. Preoperative respiratory assessment may have a important role in reduction of the risks.
DISCLOSURE: Shirley Fabris De Souza, No Product/Research Disclosure Information; Other Acknowledgement: The support of FAPESP Foundation, Grant 06/51197-5 is appreciated.