Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a type of obstructive lung disease characterized by long-term poor airflow.
Spirometry should be performed to establish the
diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease (COPD) in any patient who has a history of chronic cough,
sputum production, difficulty breathing, or exposure to risk factors, suggested the recommendations of the Global Initiative for Chronic
Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) for COPD.
‘Spirometry should be performed to establish the diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), revealed a new study.’
study conducted at the Corpus Christi Medical Center in South Texas
assessed the accuracy of diagnoses and utilization of spirometry in
multiple primary care clinics.
65 patient records were reviewed and only 29% of the
patients had spirometry testing or had results available. Surprisingly,
31.6% of the patients diagnosed with COPD were misclassified
because the spirometric measurements did not confirm the disease.
"There is a strong need for education and training on multiple
levels related to the diagnosis of COPD, one of the most common
conditions treated by primary care clinicians. GOLD guidelines provide
clear standards on which patients to evaluate with spirometry and how to
perform and interpret the tests. Applying the updated guidelines in
primary care will greatly improve the rate and accuracy of diagnosis,
the first step toward proper treatment." says Dr. Stephen Eikermann,
The study abstract is available online in the journal CHEST.