Volume spirometers need automated internal temperature sensors

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1994 Dec;150(6 Pt 1):1575-80. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.150.6.7952617.


Spirometer temperature was measured automatically during all years of the Lung Health Study. Short- and long-term changes in temperature were analyzed for the 23 dry-rolling-seal volume spirometers used at the 10 clinical centers involved in the study. Within-test-session spirometer temperature increased a mean of 0.3 degrees C, and as much as 3.0 degrees C during methacholine challenge testing. The maximal change in spirometer temperature during a test day exceeded 4 degrees C more than 5% of the time. Month-to-month changes of more than 15 degrees C were not uncommon. If ambient temperature had been assumed to apply to all maneuvers and used for BTPS corrections, FEV1, and FVC measurement errors of up to 6% would have occurred. When using volume spirometers, the temperature of air inside the spirometer should be measured accurately during each breathing maneuver.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bronchial Provocation Tests
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Spirometry / instrumentation*
  • Spirometry / standards
  • Spirometry / statistics & numerical data
  • Temperature*
  • Thermometers* / standards
  • Thermometers* / statistics & numerical data
  • Time Factors
  • United States
  • Vital Capacity