Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):06, 41, 11, 1095-1102
The standard technique for assessing pulmonary diffusing capacity of the lungs (DL) for carbon monoxide (CO) is the single breath (SB) technique. SB_DLco in children can be problematic because it requires a vital capacity >1.5 L. We have developed an open-circuit technique (OC), which uses the wash-in of CO over a series of 8-10 normal breaths that does not require rebreathing. In this study, we compared the SB_DLco against the OC_DLco.
Nineteen healthy children between 7 and 18 years performed SB_DLco and OC_DLco tests. The mean SB_DLco was significantly larger than the mean OC_DLco. The mean difference OC_DLco minus SB_ DLco was: -2.92 +/- 4.21 ml/min/mm Hg, though the difference was negatively correlated with the mean of the two (r = 0.73). The lower mean OC_DLco was in part due to lower lung volume (as measured by alveolar volume (VA)) during the maneuver. In both groups there was a positive correlation between VA and DLco, and the mean VA was -2.17 +/- 1.07 L lower using OC compared to SB. The difference was again negatively correlated with the mean (r = 0.82). The mean OC minus SB difference in DLco/VA was: 6.06 +/- 1.98 ml/min/mm Hg/L, though this difference was positively correlated with the mean, r = 0.76.
We found a good correlation between both techniques for DLco, VA, and DLco/VA. The OC offers the advantage of minimal subject cooperation, and may be preferable to use in children.