Prevalence and effects of gastro-oesophageal reflux during spirometry in subjects undergoing reflux assessment.
Variability during spirometry can persist despite control of technical and personal factors. We postulate spirometry induces gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR), which may cause variability and affect results of spirometry. Fifty-eight (58) subjects undergoing GOR investigation with oesophageal manometry and 24hr pH monitoring were recruited. Oesophageal dysmotility and GOR were assessed as part of clinical care. Subjects performed 2 sets of spirometry separated by a 10-minute rest period. The assessment of GOR during spirometry procedure (defined by a lower oesophageal pH<4) started from the first set of spirometry and concluded when the second set of spirometry was completed. We calculated variability (%) of FEV1, FVC and PEFR within each set as well as changes over 10-minutes. Twenty-six subjects (45%) recorded GOR during assessment. Of these, 23 subjects recorded GOR during the 10-minute rest period. Four subjects had GOR recorded only during spirometry tests. We did not find variability of spirometry parameters between the groups with and without GOR during spirometry procedure. However, in subjects with GOR, we found small but significant reductions of PEFR (0.5L/s, 8%, p<0.001) and FEV1 (84 mL, 3%, p = 0.048) in the second set of spirometry compared to the first spirometry set. This pilot study demonstrates that GOR can occur during and following spirometry. Presence of GOR during spirometry in this patient population caused small decreases in PEFR and FEV1 when it is repeated 10-minutes later however not increase variability in a single series of measurements.