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      Clinical application value of impulse oscillometry in geriatric patients with COPD

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          The diagnosis and assessment of COPD rely mainly on the use of spirometry, which is an effort-dependent test and requires good patient cooperation. Impulse oscillometry (IOS) is a non-volitional method that requires less effort and cooperation and presents advantages for geriatric patients. However, the clinical application value of IOS in geriatric patients with COPD remains unclear.


          The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical application value of IOS in geriatric patients with COPD.

          Subjects and methods

          A total of 234 subjects were retrospectively enrolled in this study, including 133 patients with COPD and 101 healthy volunteers. All the participants underwent IOS and spirometry examination. The data were collected and analyzed in the overall group, the geriatric group (aged ≥65 years), and the advanced elderly group (aged ≥80 years).


          1) In COPD patients, a significant increase in respiratory impedance (Z5), resonant frequency (Fres), and respiratory resistance (R5, R20, R5–R20) and a decrease in respiratory reactance (X5) were observed in the overall group, the geriatric group, and the advanced elderly group compared with the healthy control subjects. 2) The IOS parameters correlated well with spirometry in COPD. In particular, R5–R20 showed the best correlation with forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV 1) in the different age groups. 3) Fres and R5–R20 had the best diagnostic efficiency for COPD. The area under the curve (AUC) values for Fres, expressed by the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, were 0.905, 0.909, and 0.914, for the different age groups, respectively. 4) The optimal cutoff values for Fres to diagnose airflow obstruction from ROC curves was 17.715 in the COPD patients. Its sensitivity and specificity were 0.789 and 0.931, respectively, and the cutoff values were similar in geriatric and advanced elderly patients.


          IOS demonstrated good relevance compared with spirometry for geriatric patients with COPD. IOS may serve as an alternative method for spirometry in elderly subjects for the evaluation of the state of COPD.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

          Summary Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterised by progressive airflow obstruction that is only partly reversible, inflammation in the airways, and systemic effects or comorbities. The main cause is smoking tobacco, but other factors have been identified. Several pathobiological processes interact on a complex background of genetic determinants, lung growth, and environmental stimuli. The disease is further aggravated by exacerbations, particularly in patients with severe disease, up to 78% of which are due to bacterial infections, viral infections, or both. Comorbidities include ischaemic heart disease, diabetes, and lung cancer. Bronchodilators constitute the mainstay of treatment: β2 agonists and long-acting anticholinergic agents are frequently used (the former often with inhaled corticosteroids). Besides improving symptoms, these treatments are also thought to lead to some degree of disease modification. Future research should be directed towards the development of agents that notably affect the course of disease.
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            The forced oscillation technique in clinical practice: methodology, recommendations and future developments.

             ,  K Desager,  E Oostveen (2003)
            The forced oscillation technique (FOT) is a noninvasive method with which to measure respiratory mechanics. FOT employs small-amplitude pressure oscillations superimposed on the normal breathing and therefore has the advantage over conventional lung function techniques that it does not require the performance of respiratory manoeuvres. The present European Respiratory Society Task Force Report describes the basic principle of the technique and gives guidelines for the application and interpretation of FOT as a routine lung function test in the clinical setting, for both adult and paediatric populations. FOT data, especially those measured at the lower frequencies, are sensitive to airway obstruction, but do not discriminate between obstructive and restrictive lung disorders. There is no consensus regarding the sensitivity of FOT for bronchodilation testing in adults. Values of respiratory resistance have proved sensitive to bronchodilation in children, although the reported cutoff levels remain to be confirmed in future studies. Forced oscillation technique is a reliable method in the assessment of bronchial hyperresponsiveness in adults and children. Moreover, in contrast with spirometry where a deep inspiration is needed, forced oscillation technique does not modify the airway smooth muscle tone. Forced oscillation technique has been shown to be as sensitive as spirometry in detecting impairments of lung function due to smoking or exposure to occupational hazards. Together with the minimal requirement for the subject's cooperation, this makes forced oscillation technique an ideal lung function test for epidemiological and field studies. Novel applications of forced oscillation technique in the clinical setting include the monitoring of respiratory mechanics during mechanical ventilation and sleep.
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              Respiratory system impedance with impulse oscillometry in healthy and COPD subjects: ECLIPSE baseline results.

              Current assessment of COPD relies extensively on the use of spirometry, an effort-dependent maneuver. Impulse oscillometry (IOS) is a non-volitional way to measure respiratory system mechanics, but its relationship to structural and functional measurements in large groups of patients with COPD is not clear. We evaluated the ability of IOS to detect and stage COPD severity in the prospective ECLIPSE cohort of COPD patients defined spirometrically, and contrasted with smoking and non-smoking healthy subjects. Additionally, we assessed whether IOS relates to extent of CT-defined emphysema. We measured lung impedance with IOS in healthy non-smokers (n = 233), healthy former smokers (n = 322) or patients with COPD (n = 2054) and related these parameters with spirometry and areas of low attenuation in lung CT. In healthy control subjects, IOS demonstrated good repeatability over 3 months. In the COPD group, respiratory system impedance was worse compared with controls as was frequency dependence of resistance, which related to GOLD stage. However, 29-86% of the COPD subjects had values that fell within the 90% confidence interval of several parameters of the healthy non-smokers. Although mean values for impedance parameters and CT indices worsened as GOLD severity increased, actual correlations between them were poor (r ≤ 0.16). IOS can be reliably used in large cohorts of subjects to assess respiratory system impedance. Cross-sectional data suggest that it may have limited usefulness in evaluating the degree of pathologic disease, whereas its role in assessing disease progression in COPD currently remains undefined. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                15 March 2017
                : 12
                : 897-905
                Geriatrics Department, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Xinmin Liu, Geriatrics Department, Peking University First Hospital, No 8 Xishiku Street, Beijing 100034, People’s Republic of China, Tel +86 10 8357 2128, Email lxm2128@

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                © 2017 Liu et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                geriatric patients, spirometry, impulse oscillometry, copd


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