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Lung India Official publication of Indian Chest Society  
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 15-18

Asthma-like peak flow variability in various lung diseases

1 Division of Allergy and Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Medicine, SMS Medical College Hospital, Jaipur, India
2 Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Rajasthan, Rajasthan, India
3 SMS Medical College, Jaipur, India

Correspondence Address:
Virendra Singh
Division of Allergy and Pulmonary Medicine, First Floor, Dhanwantri OPD Block, SMS Medical College Hospital, Jaipur-302 004
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-2113.92352

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Background and Objectives: Bronchodilator reversibility and diurnal peak flow variability are considered characteristic of asthma patients. Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) show poor reversibility. But reversibility and variability in other pulmonary diseases manifesting with airflow obstruction in not known. Therefore, we assessed reversibility and peak flow variability in patients with various lung diseases to recognize the pattern. Materials and Methods : Seventy consecutive patients with a diagnosis of lung diseases manifesting with airflow obstruction were recruited in the study. These included 23 patients with asthma, 11 patients with bronchiectasis, 16 patients with post-tubercular lung disease (PTLD), and 20 patients with COPD. Ten healthy matched control subjects were also selected to pair with asthmatic patients. Bronchodilator reversibility test was done initially and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) was measured for a duration of 1 week by patients themselves on a chart that was given to them. The mean amplitude percentage of these records were analyzed. Results : The mean values of peak flow variability were 14.73% ± 6.1% in asthmatic patients, 11.98% ± 7.5% in patients with bronchiectasis, and 10.54% ± 5.3% in PTLD. The difference in the mean values of peak flow variability between asthma and bronchiectasis, that is, 14.73 (6.1) vs 11.98 (7.5) was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Forced expiratory volume one second (FEV 1 ) reversibility values were 14.77% ± 26.93%, 11.24% ± 20.43%, 10.85% ± 13.02%, 16.83% ± 22.84%, and 5.47% ± 4.99% in asthma, COPD, PTLD, bronchiectasis, and healthy subjects, respectively. Conclusion: Both reversibility and diurnal peak flow variability were higher in patients with various lung diseases compared with normal healthy subjects. Although these are characteristic of asthma, some cases of bronchiectasis and PTLD patients may also manifest asthma-like PEFR variability and reversibility.

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