Letters Diagnosing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Diagnosis of airways obstruction should be based on symptoms and an FEV1/FVC ratio below the lower limit of normal

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i397 (Published 28 January 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i397
  1. Philip H Quanjer, emeritus professor1,
  2. Irene Steenbruggen, clinical physiologist2,
  3. Jan Willem van den Berg, chest physician2
  1. 1Department of Pulmonary Diseases and Department of Paediatrics, Erasmus Medical Centre, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Isala, Zwolle, Netherlands
  1. pquanjer{at}xs4all.nl

In their article on the diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in primary care, Conway and colleagues state that the diagnosis can be confirmed by a low FEV1/FVC (forced expiratory volume in one second/forced vital capacity) ratio,1 with a ratio <0.70 confirming a diagnosis of pathological airflow limitation. The GOLD (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease) group recommended this cut-off …

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