11 October 2018
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the performance of the forced oscillation technique (FOT) for the early diagnosis of the effects of smoking and COPD. The contributions of the integer-order (InOr) and fractional-order (FrOr) models were also evaluated.
In total, 120 subjects were analyzed: 40 controls, 40 smokers (20.3±9.3 pack-years) and 40 patients with mild COPD.
Initially, it was observed that traditional FOT parameters and the InOr and FrOr models provided a consistent description of the COPD pathophysiology. Mild COPD introduced significant increases in the FrOr inertance, damping factor and hysteresivity ( P<0.0001). These parameters were significantly correlated with the spirometric parameters of central and small airway obstruction ( P<0.0001). The diagnostic accuracy analyses indicated that FOT parameters and InOr modeling may adequately identify these changes (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve – AUC >0.8). The use of FrOr modeling significantly improved this process ( P<0.05), allowing the early diagnosis of smokers and patients with mild COPD with high accuracy (AUC >0.9).
FrOr modeling improves our knowledge of modifications that occur in the early stages of COPD. Additionally, the findings of the present study provide evidence that these models may play an important role in the early diagnosis of COPD, which is crucial for improving the clinical management of the disease.