Get access

Static lung volumes and airway resistance reference values in healthy adults


Beate Koch, Department of Internal Medicine B, Cardiology, Pneumology, Infectious Diseases, Intensive Care Medicine, Medical Faculty of the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University, Friedrich-Loeffler-Strasse 23, D-17475 Greifswald. Email:


Background and objective:  The assessment of static lung volumes and airway resistance is a frequently performed diagnostic procedure and considered as an important tool in medical surveillance to detect pulmonary diseases. The objectives of the study are to establish reference equations for body plethysmographic parameters in a representative adult population across a wide age range and to compare the normative values from this sample with previous ones.

Methods:  Body plethysmography was applied in 1809 participants (885 males) of a cross-sectional, population-based survey (Study of Health in Pomerania). Individuals with cardiopulmonary disorders and/or a pack-year smoking history >10 years and participants with a body mass index >30 kg/m2 were excluded. In total, 686 healthy individuals (275 males) aged 25–85 years were assessed.

Results:  Prediction equations for both genders were established by quantile regression analysis taking into account the influence of age, height and weight.

Conclusions:  The study provides a novel set of prediction equations for static lung volumes and airway resistance obtained using body plethysmography. Compared with our findings, existing equations underestimated some normal values. The results emphasize the need for up-to-date reference equations.