PEF analysis requiring shorter records for occupational asthma diagnosis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Vicky Moore
  • CBSG Burge
  • CF Pantin
  • Alastair Robertson
  • Arun Dev Vellore
  • P Burge

Colleges, School and Institutes


Aims To investigate the minimum data requirements to maintain the sensitivity and specificity of the ABC score. Methods A total of 196 sets of measurements from workers with occupational asthma confirmed by methods other than serial PEFs and 206 records from occupational and non-occupational asthmatics who were not at work at the time of PEF monitoring were analysed according to their mean number of readings per day. Measurements from work and rest days were sequentially removed separately and the ABC score calculated at each reduction. The sensitivity and specificity of the ABC score (using a cut-off of 15 l/min/h) was calculated for each duration. Results Two-hourly measurements (similar to 8 readings per day) with eight workdays and three rest days had 68% sensitivity and 91% specificity for occupational asthma diagnosis. As readings decreased to <4 readings per day, >= 15 workdays were required to provide a specificity above 90%. Conclusions To be sensitive and specific in the diagnosis of occupational asthma, the ABC score requires 2-hourly PEF measurements on eight workdays and three rest days. This is a short assessment period that should improve patient compliance.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-417
Number of pages5
JournalOccupational Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2009


  • peak expiratory flow, occupational asthma, Oasys, Data quantity