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Niger J Clin Pract. 2009 Sep;12(3):229-31.

Indications for spirometry at a tertiary hospital in south east, Nigeria.

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Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria.



Spirometry evaluation of ventilatory functions plays a critical role in the diagnosis, differentiation and management of respiratory illness such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and restrictive lung disorders. It appears to be underutilized especially by most primary care physicians.


This study was aimed at determining the indications for spirometry at a tertiary health institution in Nigeria and to determine the source of referral of the patients.


Clinical and anthropometric data of all subjects who underwent spirometry at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria over a three year period were retrieved from the records book and analyzed to determine the sex distribution, age distribution, indication for the procedure, and source of referral.


A total of fifty two patients had the procedure over a three year period (Jan 2004-Dec 2006). The male to female ratio was 1: 1.08. Their ages ranged from 5 to 85 years of age with a mean age of 42.3 +/- 20.50 years. The commonest indication for spirometry during the study period was Bronchial asthma followed by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (COPD). Most of the patients were referred by the respiratory unit performing the procedure followed by the surgical units and no referral came from the neighbouring peripheral hospitals.


Bronchial Asthma is the commonest indication for the use of spirometry. There is poor referral from the peripheral primary care centers. Primary care general physicians and surgeons should be encouraged to use of spirometry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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