Pulmonology Pulmonology
Pulmonol 2018;24:224-30 - Vol. 24 Num.4 DOI: 10.1016/j.pulmoe.2017.12.006
Original article
Role of the impulse oscillometry in the evaluation of tracheal stenosis
R. Linhasa,, , F. Limaa, D. Coutinhob, J. Almeidab, S. Nevesb, A. Oliveirab, I. Ladeirac, R. Limac, S. Campainhab, M. Guimarãesc
a Department of Pulmonology, Centro Hospitalar Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho, EPE, Portugal
b Bronchoscopy Unit, Centro Hospitalar de Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho, EPE, Portugal
c Respiratory Physiopathology Laboratory, Centro Hospitalar de Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho, EPE, Portugal
Received 08 October 2017, Accepted 11 December 2017
Introduction and objectives

Tracheal stenosis is a rare and challenging disease. Bronchoscopy is the gold standard for diagnosis and assessment but brings inherent risks. Spirometry is commonly used to access obstructions but is not always feasible due to patient related factors. We therefore considered impulse oscillometry (IOS) as a non-invasive method to quantify airway obstruction and its potential use for diagnosis and follow-up of tracheal stenosis.

Materials and methods

Patients with confirmed tracheal stenosis were recruited between January 1st, 2015 and December 31st, 2016. Before bronchoscopy, all subjects underwent IOS and spirometry; for patients submitted to interventional bronchoscopy the same techniques were also performed after the procedure. We assessed the correlation between IOS measurements and airway narrowing as well as between IOS and spirometry values.


Twenty-one patients were included. Tracheal narrowing was inversely correlated with X5% (r −0.442, p 0.045) and positively correlated with FEV1/PEF (r 0.467, p 0.033). The stenosis length was inversely correlated with PEF and PEF% (r −0.729, p=0.001 and r −0.707, p=0.002, respectively). There was a strong correlation between spirometric and IOS values. We did not find any significant differences between pre- and post-intervention IOS values for patients assessed after interventional bronchoscopy.


Our study showed a weak correlation between X5% and tracheal narrowing making it unclear whether IOS can be used for physiological assessment of patients with tracheal stenosis. Stenosis length correlated with PEF making it a potential predictor of successful surgical approach. The correlation between IOS and spirometric values makes IOS a potential alternative in patients with suspected tracheal stenosis who are not able to perform spirometry. Larger scale studies should clarify the role of IOS in this pathology.

Impulse oscillometry, Spirometry, Bronchoscopy, Tracheal stenosis
Pulmonol 2018;24:224-30 - Vol. 24 Num.4 DOI: 10.1016/j.pulmoe.2017.12.006
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