A team from Luebeck, Germany, determined the frequency and type of pulmonary dysfunction in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
A total of 66 patients with IBD (35 with Crohn's disease [CD] and 31 with ulcerative colitis [UC]) and 30 control patients were included in the prospective study.
Each was investigated with respect to a number of pulmonary function tests. These were, forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), inspiratory vital capacity (IVC), Tiffeneau value (FEV1/IVC), and lung CO transfer capacity (DLCO).
Disease activity in IBD patients was assessed by the CD activity index for CD and the Truelove index for UC.
In addition, smoking habits and medication were documented in every patient.
The researchers found that 39% of the CD patients and 45% of UC patients exhibited at least one pathological (< 80% of predicted value) pulmonary function test. However, only one (3%) of the controls presented with a pathological test.
In both CD and UC, lung function tests were significantly decreased in comparison to the control group.
|Patients with pathological pulmonary function test:|
Ulcerative colitis: 45%
Crohn's disease: 39%
| American Journal of Gastroenterology |
This was shown for FEV1 (-14% of predicted value in CD and -17% in UC), IVC (-10% in CD and -12% in UC), and DLCO (-20% in CD and -31% in UC).
There were no significant differences between both disease entities.
The impairment of pulmonary function tests was found to be more pronounced in patients with active disease than in those with inactive disease (FEV1, 81% vs 93% predicted; IVC, 84% vs 94%; DLCO, 80% vs 96%).
Dr K. R. Herrlinger, of the Medical University of Luebeck, concluded on behalf of fellow authors, "IBD patients show significantly decreased lung function tests in comparison to healthy controls.
"The impairment in active disease exceeded that during remission."