INCENTIVE SPIROMETRY AS A MEANS TO SCOREBREATHLESSNESS|
Li-Cher Loh, Pek-Ngor Teh, Sree Raman, Pillai Vijayasingham, Tarmizi Thayaparan
Perceived breathlessness played an important role in guiding treatment in asthma. We developed a simple, user-friendly method of scoring perception of dyspnoea (POD) using an incentive spirometer, Triflo II (Tyco Healthcare, Mansfield, USA) by means of repetitive inspiratory efforts achieved within three minutes in 175 normal healthy subjects and 158 asthmatic patients of mild (n=26), moderate (n=78) and severe (n=54). Severity was stratified according to GINA guideline. The mean POD index in normal subjects, and asthmatic patients of mild, moderate and severe severity were: 6 (4-7) 16 (9-23), 25 (14-37), and 57 (14-100) respectively (p<0.001 One-Way ANOVA). Based on 17 asthmatic and 20 normal healthy subjects, intraclass correlation coefficients for POD index within subjects were high. In 14 asthmatic patients randomized to receiving nebulised b2-agonist or saline in a crossover, double-blind study, % FEV1 change correlated with % changes in POD index [rs-0.46, p=0.012]. Finally, when compared with 6-minutes walking test (6MWT) in an open label study, respiratory POD index correlated with walking POD index in 21 asthmatic patients [rs= 0.58 (0.17 to 0.81) (p=0.007] and 26 normal subjects [0.50 (0.13 to 0.75) (p=0.008)]. We concluded that this test is discriminative between asthmatic patients of varying severity and from normal subjects, is reproducible, responsive to bronchodilator effect, and comparable with 6MWT. Taken together, it has the potential to score disability and POD in asthma effectively and simply.
Perception of dyspnoea, asthma, normal subject, incentive spirometer, six-minute walking test