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Volumetric capnography for the evaluation of chronic airways diseases

Authors Veronez L, Pereira M, da Silva S, Barcaui L, De Capitani E, Moreira M, Paschoal I

Received 22 February 2014

Accepted for publication 13 June 2014

Published 23 September 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 983—989


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Liliani de Fátima Veronez,1 Monica Corso Pereira,2 Silvia Maria Doria da Silva,2 Luisa Affi Barcaui,2 Eduardo Mello De Capitani,2 Marcos Mello Moreira,2 Ilma Aparecida Paschoalz2

1Department of Physical Therapy, University of Votuporanga (Educational Foundation of Votuporanga), Votuporanga, 2Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Background: Obstructive lung diseases of different etiologies present with progressive peripheral airway involvement. The peripheral airways, known as the silent lung zone, are not adequately evaluated with conventional function tests. The principle of gas washout has been used to detect pulmonary ventilation inhomogeneity and to estimate the location of the underlying disease process. Volumetric capnography (VC) analyzes the pattern of CO2 elimination as a function of expired volume.
Objective: To measure normalized phase 3 slopes with VC in patients with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis (NCB) and in bronchitic patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in order to compare the slopes obtained for the groups.
Methods: NCB and severe COPD were enrolled sequentially from an outpatient clinic (Hospital of the State University of Campinas). A control group was established for the NCB group, paired by sex and age. All subjects performed spirometry, VC, and the 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT). Two comparisons were made: NCB group versus its control group, and NCB group versus COPD group. The project was approved by the ethical committee of the institution. Statistical tests used were Wilcoxon or Student’s t-test; P<0.05 was considered to be a statistically significant difference.
Results: Concerning the NCB group (N=20) versus the control group (N=20), significant differences were found in body mass index and in several functional variables (spirometric, VC, 6MWT) with worse results observed in the NCB group. In the comparison between the COPD group (N=20) versus the NCB group, although patients with COPD had worse spirometric and 6MWT values, the capnographic variables mean phase 2 slope (Slp2), mean phase 3 slope normalized by the mean expiratory volume, or mean phase 3 slope normalized by the end-tidal CO2 concentration were similar.
Conclusion: These findings may indicate that the gas elimination curves are not sensitive enough to monitor the severity of structural abnormalities. The role of normalized phase 3 slope may be worth exploring as a more sensitive index of small airway disease, even though it may not be equally sensitive in discriminating the severity of the alterations.

Keywords: volumetric capnography, spirometry, bronchiectasis, 6MWT, bronchitis

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