Study design: Cross-sectional study. Objective: Pulmonary functional capacity in 23 Brazilian quadriplegic subjects (ASIA A), aged 30 (9.5) years, weight 66 (10.75) kg, height 176 (7) cm, was investigated at 42 ( 64) months postinjury. Setting: University Hospital-UNICAMP, Campinas, Brazil. Method: Subjects performed forced vital capacity ( FVC) and maximal voluntary ventilation (MVV) tests while seated in their standard wheelchairs. Forced Expired Volume after 1 s (FEV1) and FVC/FEV1 ratio were calculated from these tests. Values obtained were compared to three prediction equations from the literature that are used specifically for spinal cord subjects and include different variables in their formulae, such as age, gender, height, postinjury time and injury level. Data are expressed as median (interquartile interval). Differences between values were demonstrated by median confidence interval with significance level set at a 0.05. Results: Obtained data were statistically different from prediction equation results, with FVC 3.11 ( 0.81), 4.46 (0.28), 4.16 (0.33), 4.26 (0.42); FEV1 2.77 (1.03), 3.67 (0.21), 3.66 (0.30), 3.45 (0.39) and MVV 92 (27), 154.2 (11.9), 156.6 (14),157.3 (16.8), where the first value is obtained experimentally and the second, third and fourth values correspond to predicted values. The results obtained from spirometry test in this study differed significantly from the results obtained when prediction equations were used. Conclusion: The use of prediction equations developed to estimate pulmonary function in wheelchair users significantly overestimates pulmonary function of quadriplegic individuals with complete lesions (ASIA group A), in comparison to measured values
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