Background: We report the performance of an ultrasound-based portable spirometer (EasyOne) used in a population-based survey of the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, conducted in 5 Latin American cities: São Paulo, Brazil; México City, México; Montevideo, Uruguay; Santiago, Chile; and Caracas, Venezuela (the Latin American COPD Prevalence Study [PLATINO]).
Methods: During the survey period (which ranged from 3 months to 6 months in the various locations) we collected daily calibration data from the 70 EasyOne spirometers used in the 5 survey cities. The calibrations were conducted with a 3-L syringe, and the calibration data were stored in the spirometer's database.
Results: Ninety-seven percent of the calibration volumes were within +/- 64 mL (2.1%) of the 3-L calibration signal. Excluding data from the first city studied (São Paulo), where one calibration syringe had to be replaced, 98% of the calibration checks were within +/- 50 mL (1.7%). The measured volume was affected only minimally by the syringe's peak flow or emptying time.
Conclusion: In these 70 EasyOne spirometers neither calibration nor linearity changed during the study. Such calibration stability is a valuable feature in spirometry surveys and in the clinical setting.