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Forced oscillation technique and spirometry in cold air provocation tests.
  1. G J Wesseling,
  2. I M Vanderhoven-Augustin,
  3. E F Wouters
  1. Department of Pulmonary Diseases, University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands.


    BACKGROUND: Impedance measurements by the forced pseudo random noise oscillation technique can be used to study the mechanical characteristics of the respiratory system. The objective of this study was to analyse the changes in impedance to a cold air provocation test in patients with asthma, and to correlate these changes with those in the forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1). METHODS: The response to isocapnic hyperventilation with cold air was assessed by respiratory impedance measurements and spirometry in 60 patients with bronchial asthma in whom the provocative dose of histamine resulting in a 20% fall in FEV1 (PD20) was < or = 8 mumol. RESULTS: Cold air provocation resulted in a mean(SD) fall in FEV1 from 3.75(0.85) litres to 3.10(0.90) litres. The mean(SD) decrease in FEV1 as a percentage of predicted was 15.4(3.8)%. The oscillatory resistance at 8 Hz increased from a mean(SD) of 0.367(0.108) kPa/l/s to 0.613(0.213) kPa/l/s and at 28 Hz the resistance increased from 0.348(0.089) to 0.403(0.099) kPa/l/s. Frequency dependence of resistance became significantly more negative. The reactance at 8 Hz decreased from a mean(SD) of -0.035 (0.041) kPa/l/s to -0.234(0.199) kPa/l/s, and the resonant frequency increased from 12.5(4.9) Hz to 25.7(9.1) Hz. Significant correlations were calculated between the decrease in FEV1 and changes in the various impedance parameters, especially between the decrease in FEV1 and the increase in resistance at 8 Hz (r = -0.66), and the decrease in FEV1 and the increase in the resonant frequency (r = -0.63). CONCLUSION: Cold air provocation in asthmatic subjects results in changes in the impedance of the respiratory system that correlate well with the changes in FEV1. These changes in impedance reflect ventilatory inhomogeneities in the peripheral compartment of the bronchial tree. These observations show the value of this technique in the evaluation of induced bronchoconstriction, as both a quantitative and a qualitative analysis of the response is possible.

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