01 October 2018
Spirometry confers limited value for identifying small-airway disorders (SADs) in early-stage COPD, which can be detected with impulse oscillometry (IOS) and endobronchial optical coherence tomography (EB-OCT). Whether IOS is useful for reflecting small-airway morphological abnormalities in COPD remains unclear.
To compare the diagnostic value of spirometry and IOS for identifying SADs in heavy-smokers and COPD based on the objective assessment with EB-OCT.
We recruited 59 COPD patients (stage I, n=17; stage II, n=18; stage III–IV, n=24), 26 heavy-smokers and 21 never-smokers. Assessments of clinical characteristics, spirometry, IOS and EB-OCT were performed. Receiver operation characteristic curve was employed to demonstrate the diagnostic value of IOS and spirometric parameters.
More advanced staging of COPD was associated with greater abnormality of IOS and spirometric parameters. Resonant frequency (Fres) and peripheral airway resistance (R 5–R 20) conferred greater diagnostic values than forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV 1%) and maximal (mid-)expiratory flow (MMEF%) predicted in discriminating SADs in never-smokers from heavy-smokers (area under curve [AUC]: 0.771 and 0.753 vs 0.570 and 0.558, respectively), and heavy-smokers from patients with stage I COPD (AUC: 0.726 and 0.633 vs 0.548 and 0.567, respectively). The combination of IOS (Fres and R 5–R 20) and spirometric parameters (FEV 1% and MMEF% predicted) contributed to a further increase in the diagnostic value for identifying SADs in early-stage COPD. Small airway wall area percentage (Aw% 7–9), an EB-OCT parameter, correlated significantly with Fres and R 5–R 20 in COPD and heavy-smokers, whereas EB-OCT parameters correlated with FEV 1% and MMEF% in advanced, rather than early-stage, COPD.