COPD diagnosis study finds spirometry underused, misdiagnosis common
LOS ANGELES (October 17, 2016)- According to the recommendations of the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), spirometry should be performed to establish the diagnosis of COPD in any patient who has a history of chronic cough, sputum production, difficulty breathing, or exposure to risk factors. A study conducted at the Corpus Christi Medical Center in South Texas assessed the accuracy of diagnoses and utilization of spirometry in multiple primary care clinics.
Sixty-five patient records were reviewed and only 29 percent of the patients had spirometry testing or had results available. Surprisingly, 31.6 percent of the patients diagnosed with COPD were misclassified because the spirometric measurements did not confirm the disease.
"There is a strong need for education and training on multiple levels related to the diagnosis of COPD, one of the most common conditions treated by primary care clinicians. GOLD guidelines provide clear standards on which patients to evaluate with spirometry and how to perform and interpret the tests. Applying the updated guidelines in primary care will greatly improve the rate and accuracy of diagnosis, the first step toward proper treatment." says Dr. Stephen Eikermann, lead researcher.
Further study results will be shared at CHEST Annual Meeting 2016 in Los Angeles on Wednesday, October 26, from 1:30pm – 2:30pm at the Los Angeles Convention Center Exhibit Hall, poster 960. The study abstract can be viewed on the website of the journal CHEST.
CHEST 2016 is the 82nd annual meeting for the American College of Chest Physicians, held October 22-26, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. The American College of Chest Physicians, publisher of the journal CHEST, is the global leader in advancing best patient outcomes through innovative chest medicine education, clinical research and team-based care. Its mission is to champion the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chest diseases through education, communication and research. It serves as an essential connection to clinical knowledge and resources for its 19,000 members from around the world who provide patient care in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. For more information about CHEST 2016, visit chestmeeting.chestnet.org, or follow CHEST meeting hashtag, #CHEST2016, on social media.