Three studies of factors affecting variability of forced expiratory time (FET) have been carried out. In the first, different observers or repeated measurements over a few minutes were shown to make no significant contribution to FET variability. Time of day was also relatively unimportant. In the second study, FET was shown to vary considerably more than peak flow rate, forced expiratory volumes, and mid expiratory flow rates over the course of five days. In the third study, FET was shown to correlate with other measurements of airways obstruction though the correlation coefficients were relatively low. The measurement of FET is thought to be too variable to be of practical use as a screening test for small airways disease, though its clinical value is not questioned.
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