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Technical assessment of spirometers connected in series

(2012) RESPIRATORY CARE. 57(8). p.1273-1277
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Abstract
BACKGROUND: Office spirometers are now widely used to detect obstructive lung diseases. To test the technical characteristics of these devices, simulation of different forced expiratory maneuvers is performed, using computer generated waveforms. However, the tests with human subjects are also useful to detect technical flaws. The procedure used by some authors to test the accuracy of office spirometers is to compare measurements made by 2 spirometers connected in series. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of this latter procedure. METHODS: Two sets of 2 spirometers connected in series were used: the Pocket Spiro with the Micro Loop, and the Pocket Spiro with the Spiro Scout. Different standard American Thoracic Society curves were selected for both ambient temperature and pressure (ATP) and body temperature and pressure saturated (BTPS) conditions and generated with a waveform simulator. We compared lung function indices (FVC, peak expiratory flow, and FEV1) recorded by the Pocket Spiro when it was placed respectively upstream or downstream in the assembly. RESULTS: In ATP conditions, lung function indices were generally higher when the spirometer was placed downstream rather than upstream. The observed deviations reached up to 10%. In BTPS conditions, lung function indices were underestimated when the spirometer was placed downstream, as compared to the ATP procedure. The modification of the flow characteristics and the temperature drop are the 2 mechanisms that could explain our results. CONCLUSIONS: Connecting the spirometers in series gives variable results, depending on the position of the spirometer in the assembly. Individual tests are therefore essential, as results are not interchangeable.
Keywords
PORTABLE SPIROMETER, spirometry, benchmarking, respiratory function tests, technology assessment, COPD, quality control, instrumentation

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Lefebvre, Quentin, Thomas Vandergoten, Eric Derom, Emilie Marchandise, and Giuseppe Liistro. 2012. “Technical Assessment of Spirometers Connected in Series.” Respiratory Care 57 (8): 1273–1277.
APA
Lefebvre, Q., Vandergoten, T., Derom, E., Marchandise, E., & Liistro, G. (2012). Technical assessment of spirometers connected in series. RESPIRATORY CARE, 57(8), 1273–1277.
Vancouver
1.
Lefebvre Q, Vandergoten T, Derom E, Marchandise E, Liistro G. Technical assessment of spirometers connected in series. RESPIRATORY CARE. 2012;57(8):1273–7.
MLA
Lefebvre, Quentin, Thomas Vandergoten, Eric Derom, et al. “Technical Assessment of Spirometers Connected in Series.” RESPIRATORY CARE 57.8 (2012): 1273–1277. Print.
@article{3052020,
  abstract     = {BACKGROUND: Office spirometers are now widely used to detect obstructive lung diseases. To test the technical characteristics of these devices, simulation of different forced expiratory maneuvers is performed, using computer generated waveforms. However, the tests with human subjects are also useful to detect technical flaws. The procedure used by some authors to test the accuracy of office spirometers is to compare measurements made by 2 spirometers connected in series.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of this latter procedure.
METHODS: Two sets of 2 spirometers connected in series were used: the Pocket Spiro with the Micro Loop, and the Pocket Spiro with the Spiro Scout. Different standard American Thoracic Society curves were selected for both ambient temperature and pressure (ATP) and body temperature and pressure saturated (BTPS) conditions and generated with a waveform simulator. We compared lung function indices (FVC, peak expiratory flow, and FEV1) recorded by the Pocket Spiro when it was placed respectively upstream or downstream in the assembly.
RESULTS: In ATP conditions, lung function indices were generally higher when the spirometer was placed downstream rather than upstream. The observed deviations reached up to 10\%. In BTPS conditions, lung function indices were underestimated when the spirometer was placed downstream, as compared to the ATP procedure. The modification of the flow characteristics and the temperature drop are the 2 mechanisms that could explain our results.
CONCLUSIONS: Connecting the spirometers in series gives variable results, depending on the position of the spirometer in the assembly. Individual tests are therefore essential, as results are not interchangeable.},
  author       = {Lefebvre, Quentin and Vandergoten, Thomas and Derom, Eric and Marchandise, Emilie and Liistro, Giuseppe},
  issn         = {0020-1324},
  journal      = {RESPIRATORY CARE},
  keyword      = {PORTABLE SPIROMETER,spirometry,benchmarking,respiratory function tests,technology assessment,COPD,quality control,instrumentation},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {1273--1277},
  title        = {Technical assessment of spirometers connected in series},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.4187/respcare.01464},
  volume       = {57},
  year         = {2012},
}

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