Sources of Variability in Peak Expiratory Flow

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00005382
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 26, 2000
Last Update Posted : May 13, 2016
Information provided by:
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Brief Summary:
To provide information necessary for the development of standards for peak expiratory flow (PEF) test performance in populations studies.

Condition or disease
Asthma Lung Diseases, Obstructive Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Detailed Description:


While PEF has routinely been applied in the diagnosis and management of asthma, scientists were finding new applications for PEF as both a clinical and epidemiologic tool for following individuals with pulmonary diseases, studying the natural history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and evaluating the impact of environmental exposures on lung function. Yet the standardization of the PEF measurement lagged behind its application.

The little attention paid to the performance characteristics of the PEF maneuver contrasted sharply with the efforts to standardize measurement procedures for FEV1 and FVC. The American Thoracic Society devoted a great deal of attention to studying these measures and published guidelines for the standardization of their measurement. These guidelines included detailed protocols for calibrating equipment, administering the tests, determining reproducibility, and interpreting results.

The research provided data on the optimal number of trials per test session, the difference between a PEF performed during a full forced expiratory effort and that resulting from a short blast, the impact of test supervision on test performance, and the reproducibility of the PEF measurement.


A baseline survey of ventilatory function was performed using spirometry. PEF was measured daily with a mini-Wright Peak Flow Meter over a period of several weeks in a study of 201 normals (staff, faculty and graduate students at the University of Massachusetts Lowell). Serial PEF data were collected on a group of mild asthmatics identified in a local occupational medicine clinic. Finally, performance characteristics were examined in serial PEF data from two existing occupational cohort studies.

The study completion date listed in this record was obtained from the "End Date" entered in the Protocol Registration and Results System (PRS) record.

Study Type : Observational
Study Start Date : July 1995
Actual Study Completion Date : May 1998

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 100 Years   (Child, Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
No eligibility criteria Identifier: NCT00005382     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 4287
R01HL051975 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: May 26, 2000    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: May 13, 2016
Last Verified: November 2001

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Lung Diseases
Lung Diseases, Obstructive
Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive
Respiratory Tract Diseases