Forced oscillation technique in veterans with preserved spirometry and chronic respiratory symptoms

Ryan P. Butzko, Anays M. Sotolongo, Drew A. Helmer, Jacquelyn C. Klein-Adams, Omowunmi Y. Osinubi, Andrew R. Berman, Ronaldo Ortiz-Pacheco, Michael J. Falvo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the utility of the forced oscillation technique (FOT) among military veterans with preserved spirometry and chronic unexplained respiratory symptoms. Methods: 178 veterans referred for evaluation of unexplained respiratory symptoms completed pulmonary function testing and FOT. Preserved spirometry was defined as FEV 1 /FVC, FEV 1 and FVC ≥ 5th percentile. Frequency dependence of resistance (R4-R20) and reactance area (AX) were assessed via FOT, and R4-R20 ≥ 20% and AX ≥ 95th percentile were considered abnormal. Results: Spirometry was preserved in 71.3%, of whom 124 had acceptable FOT data. 93 of 124 (75.0%) veterans with preserved spirometry had one or more abnormal findings on FOT. Veterans with abnormal R4-R20 and/or AX had reduced FVC, FEV 1 , FEF 25-75 , and diffusing capacity (% predicted) in comparison to those with Normal FOT (p = 0.030 to p < 0.001). Conclusions: In our referral sample, distal airway dysfunction in the presence of preserved spirometry appears common and may represent an at-risk group requiring closer surveillance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-16
Number of pages9
JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
StatePublished - Feb 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


  • Environmental exposure
  • Forced oscillation technique
  • Respiratory
  • Signs and symptoms
  • Small airways
  • Veterans health


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