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Reversibility test in obstructive lung disease. Use and limitations

, : Reversibility test in obstructive lung disease. Use and limitations. Ugeskrift for Laeger 156(48): 7185-7188

Spirometry is often repeated after administration of bronchodilators or corticosteroids as a reversibility test. This review focuses on the performance, the utility and limitations of these tests. The response to bronchodilators and corticosteroids is regarded as statistically significant if the increase in FEV1 respectively exceeds 0.2 l and 0.35 l, but a higher improvement is probably necessary for clinical benefit. Response to corticosteroids is a characteristic feature of asthma, and most asthmatics will normalise their lung function or increase FEV1 by more than 0.5 l. A similar response to bronchodilators can be obtained in some asthmatics. Both tests are necessary for the patient with obstructive airway disease to determine the optimal lung function, and further therapy should be adjusted to reach this goal.


PMID: 7817424

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