Obesity is associated with respiratory symptoms that are reported to improve with weight loss, but this is poorly reflected in spirometry, and few studies have measured respiratory mechanics with oscillometry. We investigated whether early changes in lung mechanics following weight loss are detectable with oscillometry. Furthermore, we investigated whether the changes in lung mechanics measured in the supine position following weight loss are associated with changes in sleep quality. Nineteen severely obese female subjects (mean body mass index, 47.2 ± 6.6 kg/m(2)) were evaluated using spirometry, oscillometry, plethysmography, and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index before and 5 weeks after bariatric surgery. These tests were conducted in both the upright and the supine position, and pre- and postbronchodilation with 200 μg of salbutamol. Five weeks after surgery, weight loss of 11.5 ± 2.5 kg was not associated with changes in spirometry and plethysmography, with the exception of functional residual capacity. There were also no changes in upright respiratory system resistance (Rrs) or reactance following weight loss. Importantly, however, in the supine position, weight loss caused a substantial reduction in Rrs. In addition, sleep quality improved significantly and was highly correlated with the reduction in supine Rrs. Prior to weight loss, subjects did not respond to the bronchodilator when assessed in the upright position with either spirometry or oscillometry; however, with modest weight loss, bronchodilator responsiveness returned to the normal range. Improvements in lung mechanics occur very early after weight loss, mostly in the supine position, resulting in improved sleep quality. These improvements are detectable with oscillometry but not with spirometry.
Keywords: body mass index; bronchial reversibility; fonction pulmonaire; indice de masse corporelle; lung function; lung mechanics; mécanique pulmonaire; obesity; obésité; oscillometry (forced oscillation technique); oscillométrie (technique de l’oscillation forcée); réversibilité bronchique.