Brazilian Journal of Pulmonology

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


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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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