22 December 2017
It is well known that increased airflow limitation as measured by spirometry is associated with the risk of exacerbation in patients with COPD. The forced oscillation technique (FOT) is a noninvasive method used to assess respiratory impedance (resistance and reactance) with minimal patient cooperation required. The clinical utility of the FOT in assessing the risk of exacerbations of COPD is yet to be determined. We examined the relationship between respiratory impedance as measured by FOT and exacerbations in patients with COPD.
Among 310 patients with COPD (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease stages I–IV) who presented at the outpatient clinic of the Showa University Hospital from September 2014 through January 2015, 119 were collected and assigned into 2 groups according to their history of exacerbation: exacerbators and nonexacerbators. Respiratory resistance components and respiratory reactance components, as measured by FOT, were compared between the two groups.
Exacerbators were significantly older and had a higher white blood cell count than nonexacerbators. Resistance at 20 Hz, reactance at 5 Hz (X5), resonant frequency (Fres), and area of low reactance (ALX) differed significantly between the two groups. In addition, among patients with stage II COPD, there were significant differences in X5, Fres, and ALX between the two groups despite no significant differences in respiratory function as assessed by spirometry. Finally, receiver operating characteristic curve analysis revealed that the reactance components rather than the resistance components were associated with the risk of exacerbation.