The perception that pulmonary function tests, particularly spirometry, are informative, easy to do, and well accepted by patients has led to their liberal use by both general internists and pulmonary specialists. We address use of pulmonary function tests before surgical operations for the purpose of anticipating perioperative pulmonary problems. Ideally, preoperative pulmonary function tests should be restricted to circumstances in which careful studies have documented the clinical utility of results obtained; however, few such studies exist [Appendix].
Because operative site is a determinant of postoperative pulmonary complications, general recommendations for all surgical patients are not possible [1.3]. Rather, the recommendations
Preoperative Pulmonary Function Testing. Ann Intern Med. ;112:793–794. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-112-10-793
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1990;112(10):793-794.
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