Quality control of spirometry: a lesson from the BRONCUS trial
Pellegrino, R × Decramer, Marc van Schayck, C P O Dekhuijzen, P N R Troosters, Thierry van Herwaarden, C Olivieri, D Del Donno, M De Backer, W Lankhorst, I Ardia, A #
European Respiratory Journal vol:26 issue:6 pages:1104-9
This report describes the quality control programme used within the Bronchitis Randomized on N-acetylcysteine (NAC) Cost-Utility Study, a trial designed to assess the decline in lung function, exacerbation rate, health status, and cost-effectiveness with NAC or a placebo in 523 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease over a 3-yr period. Spirometry was scored from 0 (worst quality) to 6 (best quality). The mean score of 314 spirometries from 243 patients evaluated during the trial was 5.63+/-0.83. Linear regression analysis of the scores of 47 participating centres plotted against the time at which spirometries were performed yielded an intercept of 5.7+/-0.5 and a slope of -0.0001+/-0.001, which suggests that the initial high quality was maintained over time. Retrospective examination of a further 345 postbronchodilator spirometries from 208 patients with a forced expiratory volume at one second exceeding the mean individual value recorded over the study in excess of 20% revealed a slightly lower quality of the start-of-test manoeuvre compared with the 314 spirometries. In conclusion, these findings would suggest that the quality control programme is likely to have helped achieve and maintain long-term spirometry performance in the Bronchitis Randomized on N-acetylcysteine (NAC) Cost-Utility Study trial. Special care should be paid to the spirometries whose forced expiratory volume in one second values exceed the mean value.