Spirometry not effective for COPD screening, task force says
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 24, 2008
Spirometry should not be used to detect chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in those who do not have COPDsymptoms, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and published online March 3 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The panel made this recommendation in response to data indicating that hundreds of adults would have to be screened in order to identify one patient who may later develop symptoms severe enough to require immediate medical attention.
Studies also had suggested that the rate of false-positive results was high.
"Our review of the evidence found that screening for COPD with spirometry in patients who report no symptoms provides very little or no benefit to individuals, even in those who are eventually diagnosed with the disease," said USPSTF Chair Ned Calonge, MD, MPH.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2008/03/24/hlbf0324.htm.