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Correlations between pulse oximetry and peak expiratory flow in acute asthma

By C. Ribeiro de Andrade, M.C. Duarte and P. Camargos

Abstract

Few studies are available concerning correlations between pulse oximetry and peak expiratory flow in children and adolescents with acute asthma. Although the Global Initiative for Asthma states that measurements of lung function and oximetry are critical for the assessment of patients, it is not clear if both methods should necessarily be included in their evaluation. Since there is a significant difference in cost between pulse oximetry equipment and peak expiratory flow devices, we determined whether clinical findings and peak expiratory flow measurements are sufficient to determine the severity of acute asthma. The present prospective observational study was carried out to determine if there is correlation between pulse oximetry and peak expiratory flow determination in 196 patients with acute asthma aged 4 to 15 years diagnosed according to the Global Initiative for Asthma criteria. Patients experiencing their first or second wheezing episode, with fever, related acute or chronic diseases, and unable to perform the peak expiratory flow maneuver were excluded. Measurements of peak expiratory flow and pulse oximetry were performed at admission and after 15 min of each inhaled salbutamol cycle. Correlations obtained by linear regression using the Pearson correlation coefficients (r) were 0.41 (P < 0.0001), 0.53 (P < 0.0001), 0.51 (P < 0.0001), and 0.61 (P < 0.0001) at admission and after the first, second and third cycles of salbutamol, respectively. These correlations showed that one measure cannot substitute the other (Pearson's coefficient <0.7), probably because they evaluate different aspects in the airways, suggesting that peak expiratory flow should not be used alone in the assessment of acute asthma in children and adolescents

Topics: Acute asthma, Pulse oximetry, Peak expiratory flow, Medicine (General), R5-920, Biology (General), QH301-705.5
Publisher: Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:768b6726f2e24777ae763baf1dd7554d
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