Brazilian Journal of Pulmonology

ISSN (on-line): 1806-3756 | ISSN (printed): 1806-3713


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Poor perception of dyspnea following methacholine challenge test in patients with asthma

Baixo grau de percepção da dispneia após teste de broncoprovocação induzida por metacolina em pacientes com asma

Cláudia Loss Reck, Daniel Fiterman-Molinari, Sérgio Saldanha Menna Barreto, Jussara Fiterman

J Bras Pneumol.2010;36(5):539-544

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

Objective: To determine the proportion of asthma patients with a poor perception of dyspnea, correlating the level of that perception with the severity of acute bronchoconstriction, bronchial hyperresponsiveness, use of maintenance medication, and asthma control. Methods: Uncontrolled clinical trial involving asthma patients treated at the Pulmonology Outpatient Clinic of the São Lucas Hospital, in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Methacholine challenge testing was performed using a five-breath dosimeter protocol. The perception of dyspnea after each breath was determined using the Borg scale. Data concerning asthma control, medication in use, and use of rescue short-acting bronchodilators were recorded. Results: Of the 65 patients included in the study, 53 completed the evaluation. Of those, 32 (60.5%) showed adequate perception of dyspnea after the methacholine challenge test, whereas 21 (39.5%) did not perceive any changes in the degree of dyspnea even after a 20% fall in FEV1. There were no significant differences between the two groups regarding baseline FEV1, percentage fall in FEV1, and the dose of methacholine causing a 20% fall in FEV1. The perception of dyspnea was not significantly associated with age (p = 0.247); gender (p = 0.329); use of maintenance medication (p = 0.152); asthma control (p = 0.562), bronchial hyperresponsiveness (p = 0.082); or severity of acute bronchoconstriction (p = 0.749). Conclusions: A significant proportion of asthma patients have a poor perception of dyspnea. The factors related to the inability of these patients to identify changes in pulmonary function have not yet been well defined. In order to reduce asthma-related morbidity and mortality, it is essential that this group of patients be identified and counseled.


Keywords: Asthma; Dyspnea; Airway obstruction.


The role of the FEF50%/0.5FVC ratio in the diagnosis of obstructivelung diseases

O papel da razão FEF50%/0,5CVF no diagnóstico dosdistúrbios ventilatórios obstrutivos

Marcelo Tadday Rodrigues, Daniel Fiterman-Molinari, Sérgio Saldanha Menna Barreto, Jussara Fiterman

J Bras Pneumol.2010;36(1):44-50

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

Objective: To evaluate the contribution of a new coefficient, the FEF50%/0.5FVC ratio, obtained from the maximal expiratory flow-volume curve, to the diagnosis of obstructive lung disease (OLD); to test this coefficient in differentiating among patients considered normal, those with OLD and those with restrictive lung disease (RLD); and to determine cut-off points for each functional diagnosis, as well as the probability for each diagnosis based on individual values. Methods: A prospective, cross-sectional study analyzing the pulmonary function of patients referred to the Porto Alegre Hospital de Clínicas, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, between January and December of 2003. We collected demographic and spirometric data. The patients were divided into three groups: normal; OLD; and RLD. We calculated the FEV1/FVC and FEF50%/0.5FVC ratios, and we compared the mean FEF50%/0.5FVC values among the groups. We used Pearson's correlation test in order to compare FEF50%/0.5FVC with FEV1/FVC. The patients were again divided into two groups: those with OLD and those without OLD. We calculated the likelihood ratio for different cut-off points. Results: The mean age of the patients was 55.8 ± 14.7 years. There were significant differences among the groups in terms of the mean FEF50%/0.5FVC (2.10 ± 0.82, 2.55 ± 1.47 and 0.56 ± 0.29, respectively, for normal, RLD and OLD; p < 0.001). There was a positive correlation between FEF50%/0.5FVC and FEV1/FVC in the OLD group (r = 0.83). We found that an FEF50%/0.5FVC < 0.79 strongly suggests OLD, whereas an FEF50%/0.5FVC > 1.33 practically excludes this diagnosis. Conclusions: The FEF50%/0.5FVC ratio is a potentially useful parameter in the differential diagnosis of OLD and correlates positively with the FEV1/FVC ratio.


Keywords: Pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive; Spirometry; Respiratory function tests.




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