Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
Search Ahead of print Current Issue Archives Instructions Subscribe e-Alerts Login 
Home Email this article link Print this article Bookmark this page Decrease font size Default font size Increase font size

Table of Contents   
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 129
Alterations of pulmonary function in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases

Department of Pediatrics, Al-Kindy College of Medicine, Baghdad University, Baghdad, Iraq

Date of Web Publication4-Apr-2017

Correspondence Address:
Mahmood Dhahir Al-Mendalawi
Department of Pediatrics, Al-Kindy College of Medicine, Baghdad University, Baghdad
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/atm.ATM_350_16

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Al-Mendalawi MD. Alterations of pulmonary function in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. Ann Thorac Med 2017;12:129

How to cite this URL:
Al-Mendalawi MD. Alterations of pulmonary function in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. Ann Thorac Med [serial online] 2017 [cited 2023 Feb 7];12:129. Available from:


I have two comments on the outstanding study by Ji et al. on the altered pulmonary function in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs).[1]

First, the authors employed spirometry to estimate pulmonary function tests (PFTs). Based on the American Thoracic Society (ATS)/European Respiratory Society (ERS) Task Force 2005 guidelines on spirometry standardization, the authors found that 51.52% of the studied cohort but none of the controls showed at least one abnormal PFTs (P < 0.05) and that the majority with decreased PFTs measurements were in the active phase of diseases.[1] I presume that the study results ought to be cautiously taken. This is based on the following three points. (1) There has been considerable debate over the past few years on the use of threshold criteria for the detection of PFTs impairments. The flaw lies in the methods used to derive reference equations, which involve arbitrary and circular criteria for exclusion of some members of the population, use potentially nonrepresentative reference populations, and include predictive variables that are really risk factors for disease or for adverse outcomes of disease.[2] (2) The quality analysis of spirometry in hospitals in China performed according to ATS/ERS standardization has shown that it needs to be improved. Evaluation of a total of 345 spirometry test reports showed that 82.5% (282/342) met the start-of-test criteria for quality control while 333 reports could be analyzed for free of artifacts, of which 65.8% (219/333) were consistent with the criteria of smooth expiration; the remaining 114 reports failed to meet the criteria for various reasons. On the other hand, 235 reports were analyzed for end-of-test criteria, with 50.6% (119/235) complying to criteria, while 22.6% (78/345) of the reports were tested for more than 3 times, among which 65 reports with the data of each maneuver could be analyzed for repeatability. Moreover, 95.4% (62/65) of the reports met the repeatability criteria, which accounted for 18% (62/345) of the total reports collected.[3] (3) The rapid expansion of more racially and ethnically diverse populations like China challenges pulmonary function reference equations. Recent studies have found that ancestry and genetic variation are determinants of lung function and have suggested a role for genetic ancestry or gene variants in constructing lung function reference equations.[4] It is, therefore, advocated that spirometric measurements need to be obtained using equations derived from individual ethnic or racial groups.[4] I presume that establishing new age, gender, and ethnic-specific spirometric reference equations is fundamental to better evaluate pulmonary function among Chinese population, including IBDs patients.

Second, the authors nicely discussed various factors contributing to the development of impaired pulmonary function in IBDs patients. I presume that the following factor might be additionally contributory. Alpha1-antitrypsin (A1AT) level in the serum and the colon tissue has been found to be decreased in IBDs patients, indicating that pulmonary function impairment in IBDs patients might manifest as decreased A1AT levels and it was correlated with chronic airway inflammation, remodeling of airway, and obstructive changes.[5]

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Ji XQ, Ji YB, Wang SX, Zhang CQ, Lu DG. Alterations of pulmonary function in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. Ann Thorac Med 2016;11:249-53.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Marks GB. Are reference equations for spirometry an appropriate criterion for diagnosing disease and predicting prognosis? Thorax 2012;67:85-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
Gao Y, Zheng JP, An JY, Ma JF, Liu WT, Yu XX. Investigation on quality of spirometry in 36 large hospitals in China. Zhonghua Jie He He Hu Xi Za Zhi 2010;33:247-50.  Back to cited text no. 3
Ortega VE, Kumar R. The Effect of ancestry and genetic variation on lung function predictions: What is “normal” lung function in diverse human populations? Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 2015;15:16.  Back to cited text no. 4
Wang JY, Wang XY, Sun HY, Liu DM, Zhang W, Jin CX, et al. Correlation between pulmonary function impairment and levels of alpha1-antitrypsin in serum and colon of ulcerative colitis patients: A clinical research. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi 2014;34:20-6.  Back to cited text no. 5


Print this article  Email this article
    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Article in PDF (289 KB)
    Citation Manager
    Access Statistics
    Reader Comments
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  


 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded221    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal