The Efficacy of Spirometry as a Screening Tool in Detection of Air Flow Obstruction

Nabeel Manzar, A. Suleman Haque* , Bushra Manzar , Muhammad Irfan
Aga Khan University Hospital & Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan

Article Metrics

CrossRef Citations:
Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 2811
Abstract HTML Views: 1991
PDF Downloads: 670
Total Views/Downloads: 5472
Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 1074
Abstract HTML Views: 1177
PDF Downloads: 462
Total Views/Downloads: 2713

Creative Commons License
© Manzar et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Section of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Aga Khan University Hospital & Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan; Tel: +92-21-35685571; Fax: +92-21-35685571; E-mail:


Background/Objectives: In developing countries, spirometry has not been considered a part of routine medical check-up. The purpose of the study was to establish the usefulness of spirometry as a primary screening tool in detecting air flow obstruction (AFO) during routine medical check-up (RMC).

Methods: This was a hospital based, retrospective, non-randomized case series study of 3696 participants, who presented to hospital for routine medical check-up. All subjects were assisted at the Pulmonary Medicine Department, from January 2003 till December 2008 who, having met other inclusion criteria, underwent spirometry. Data were analyzed using proportion, group means, standard deviations and Pearson Chi Square test.

Results: The overall yield from spirometry in detecting AFO was 211 patients (5.7%); 174 males (6.1%) and 37 females (4.4%) (P=0.158, Pearson Chi Square test). Greater age at presentation and BMI correlated significantly with AFO in the target group (P=<0.001; P=<0.005) respectively. Dyspnoea was the most frequent symptomatology observed in those diagnosed with AFO.

Conclusion: These results suggest that spirometry during RMC for all persons can detect a significant number of patients with AFO particularly among the middle and older age groups with a low BMI.

Keywords: Spirometry, airflow obstruction, routine medical check-up, early screening, epidemiology..