In order to define the minimal frequency response requirements for spirometric measurements, the harmonic content of forced expiratory flow has been assessed in 63 healthy subjects. The amplitude of the harmonics has been found to decrease almost exponentially with increasing frequency. On the average, the cumulated frequency content beyond 10 Hz represented less than 5% of the total frequency content in men, and less than 3% in women. No significant difference has been observed between male smokers and non-smokers. The harmonic content per unit frequency has been found to be correlated to maximal flows at middle and low lung volumes and to maximal mid-expiratory flow up to 4 Hz. For FEV1, maximal flow at 75% of the vital capacity and, particularly, peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), the correlations were still significant at quite higher frequencies. The data suggest that, except for PEFR, all these indices may be obtained with a good accuracy when the frequency response of the equipment is flat up to 5-7 Hz.