To explain how spirometry data can be interpreted in a clinical setting.
To outline and explain some of the patterns of abnormality that may be seen.
Summary Once spirometry has been carried out, it is vital to interpret the data properly. Before starting, one should find out whether the testing was performed properly – although some conclusions may be drawn from substandard data, it is best to proceed with caution.
The next step is to look for abnormalities in the data, using the standard reference equations, and taking into account any peculiarities of the equipment. Certain patterns of results are known to be indicative of particular problems, and clinicians should become familiar with these, as spirometry is the key tool in lung function testing.
- ©ERS 2008