Recommendations for a standardized pulmonary function report. An official American Thoracic Society technical statement

ATS Committee on Proficiency Standards for Pulmonary Function Laboratories

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

131 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The American Thoracic Society committee on Proficiency Standards for Pulmonary Function Laboratories has recognized the need for a standardized reporting format for pulmonary function tests. Although prior documents have offered guidance on the reporting of test data, there is considerable variability in how these results are presented to end users, leading to potential confusion and miscommunication. Methods: A project task force, consisting of the committee as a whole, was approved to develop a new Technical Standard on reporting pulmonary function test results. Three working groups addressed the presentation format, the reference data supporting interpretation of results, and a system for grading quality of test efforts. Each group reviewed relevant literature and wrote drafts that were merged into the final document. Results: This document presents a reporting format in test-specific units for spirometry, lung volumes, and diffusing capacity that can be assembled into a report appropriate for a laboratory’s practice. Recommended reference sources are updated with data for spirometry and diffusing capacity published since prior documents. A grading system is presented to encourage uniformity in the important function of test quality assessment. Conclusions: The committee believes that wide adoption of these formats and their underlying principles by equipment manufacturers and pulmonary function laboratories can improve the interpretation, communication, and understanding of test results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1463-1472
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Volume196
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

Keywords

  • Pulmonary function quality grading
  • Pulmonary function testing
  • Reference equations
  • Reporting spirometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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