Standardization of spirometry: a summary of recommendations from the American Thoracic Society. The 1987 update

Ann Intern Med. 1988 Feb;108(2):217-20. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-108-2-217.


The spirometer is used to measure forced vital capacity in pulmonary, occupational, and general medicine. Results of spirometry affect decisions regarding patient treatment and disability compensation. Accurate spirometers are also required for epidemiologic studies. The recommendations of the American Thoracic Society cover equipment selection, validation, and quality control; maneuver performance recommendations; measurement procedures; and reference values and interpretation standardization.

MeSH terms

  • Forced Expiratory Flow Rates
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Quality Control
  • Reference Values
  • Spirometry / instrumentation
  • Spirometry / methods
  • Spirometry / standards*
  • Vital Capacity