Accuracy of Vitalograph lung monitor as a screening test for COPD in primary care

Andy Dickens, David Fitzmaurice, Peymane Adab, Alice Sitch, Richard D. Riley, Alexandra Enocson, Rachel Jordan

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4 Citations (Scopus)
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Microspirometry may be useful as the second stage of a screening pathway among patients reporting respiratory symptoms. We assessed sensitivity and specificity of the Vitalograph® lung monitor compared with post-bronchodilator confirmatory spirometry (ndd Easy on-PC) among primary care chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients within the Birmingham COPD cohort. We report a case–control analysis within 71 general practices in the UK. Eligible patients were aged ≥40 years who were either on a clinical COPD register or reported chronic respiratory symptoms on a questionnaire. Participants performed pre- and post-bronchodilator microspirometry, prior to confirmatory spirometry. Out of the 544 participants, COPD was confirmed in 337 according to post-bronchodilator confirmatory spirometry. Pre-bronchodilator, using the LLN as a cut-point, the lung monitor had a sensitivity of 50.5% (95% CI 45.0%, 55.9%) and a specificity of 99.0% (95% CI 96.6%, 99.9%) in our sample. Using a fixed ratio of FEV1/FEV6 < 0.7 to define obstruction in the lung monitor, sensitivity increased (58.8%; 95% CI 53.0, 63.8) while specificity was virtually identical (98.6%; 95% CI 95.8, 99.7). Within our sample, the optimal cut-point for the lung monitor was FEV1/FEV6 < 0.78, with sensitivity of 82.8% (95% CI 78.3%, 86.7%) and specificity of 85.0% (95% CI 79.4%, 89.6%). Test performance of the lung monitor was unaffected by bronchodilation. The lung monitor could be used in primary care without a bronchodilator using a simple ratio of FEV1/FEV6 as part of a screening pathway for COPD among patients reporting respiratory symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalNPJ Primary Care Respiratory Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2020


  • COPD
  • microspirometry
  • screening
  • sensitivity
  • specificity


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