Quality of Spirometry tests performed by 9893 adults in 14 countries: The BOLD Study

P. Enright, W. M. Vollmer, B. Lamprecht, R. Jensen, A. Jithoo, W. Tan, M. Studnicka, P. Burney, S. Gillespie, A. S. Buist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Objective: to determine the ability of participants in the Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease (BOLD) study to meet quality goals for spirometry test session quality and to assess factors contributing to good quality. Methods: Following 2 days of centralized training, spirometry was performed pre- and post-bronchodilator (BD) at 14 international sites, in random population-based samples of persons aged ≥40 years, following a standardized protocol. The quality of each test session was evaluated by the spirometer software and an expert reading center. Descriptive statistics were calculated for key maneuver acceptability variables. A logistic regression model identified the predictors of acceptable quality test sessions. Results: About 96% of test sessions met our quality goals for a low back-extrapolated volume (BEV), time to peak flow (PEFT), and end-of-test volume (EOTV). The mean forced expiratory time (FET) was 10.4 s. Ninety percent of the maneuvers with the highest FVC had a forced expiratory time (FET) > 6.8 s. About 90% of test sessions had FEV1 and FVC which were repeatable within 150 mL. Test quality was slightly better for post-BD test sessions when compared to pre-BD. Independent predictors of adequate test quality included female sex, younger age, higher education, lack of dyspnea, higher pre-BD FEV1, less BD responsiveness, and study site. Conclusions: Quality goals for spirometry tests were met about 90% of the time in these population-based samples of adults from several countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1507-1515
Number of pages9
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • COPD
  • Quality control
  • Spirometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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