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Allergy. 2003 Dec;58(12):1256-60.

Comparison of FEV1 and specific airway conductance in assessing airway response to occupational agents.

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1
Service de Pneumologie, Cliniques Universitaires de Mont-Godinne, Université Catholique de Louvain, Yvoir, Belgium.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is theoretical evidence that specific airway conductance (SGaw) could be more reliable than forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) for assessing changes in airway calibre. We investigated the changes in FEV1 and SGaw when assessing bronchial responses to occupational agents.

METHODS:

SGaw and FEV1 were measured during inhalation challenges with various occupational agents in 174 consecutive subjects investigated for possible occupational asthma.

RESULTS:

A decline in SGaw of 50% or greater was documented in 77 of 90 subjects (86%) who showed a >/=20% fall in FEV1 and in 11 of 84 subjects (13%) who failed to demonstrate such a fall in FEV1. Among subjects who developed a >/=20% fall in FEV1, those who failed to develop a >/=50% decline in SGaw had a lower baseline SGaw than those who did. Among the group without a >/=20% fall in FEV1, a >/=50% decrease in SGaw was associated with either an 'intermediate' fall in FEV1 (between 15 and 17% from baseline value) (n = 4), a significant postchallenge increase in nonspecific bronchial hyper-responsiveness to histamine (n = 2), or both features (n = 3).

CONCLUSIONS:

A decline in SGaw of 50% or greater may provide useful complementary evidence of a bronchial response during challenges that produce equivocal results in FEV1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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