Key Event Title
|Level of Biological Organization|
Key Event Components
|respiratory function trait||decreased|
Key Event Overview
AOPs Including This Key Event
|AOP Name||Role of event in AOP|
|Decreased lung function||AdverseOutcome|
Key Event Description
Lung function is a clinical term referring to the physiological functioning of the lung, most often in association with the tests used to assess it.
Decreased lung function is a feature of both obstructive (e.g. asthma, COPD) and restrictive pulmonary diseases (e.g. fibrosis, sarcoidosis) and can have a multitude of causes including exposure to cigarette smoke, dust, metals, organic solvents, asbestos, pathogens or genetic factors. While some of these diseases may be self-limiting or curable by pharmacological intervention and hence exhibit a transient decrease in lung function, others arise from irreversible damage to the lung and are characterized by a progressive decline in lung function over time.
How It Is Measured or Detected
Unless accompanied by clinical symptoms such as shortness of breath or patient complaint, decreased lung function might go unnoticed. However, when indicated, physicians will refer to spirometry to assess both airflow and lung volume, important indicators of lung function. Extensive and widely accepted clinical guidelines exist for the performance and interpretation of spirometry (Miller et al., 2005a; Miller et al., 2005b; Pellegrino et al., 2005; http://goldcopdorg/).
Domain of Applicability
Lung function tests require compliance from the subject to execute breathing maneuvers required to measure air flow and lung function. This is not possible in laboratory animals, hence such measurements in mice and rats are generally based on forced maneuvers yielding lung function parameters that are difficult to compare to those in humans.
Regulatory Significance of the Adverse Outcome
While currently not considered a classical toxicological AO, decreased lung function has important clinical implications.
Miller, M.R., Crapo, R., Hankinson, J., Brusasco, V., Burgos, F., Casaburi, R., Coates, A., Enright, P., van der Grinten, C.M., and Gustafsson, P. (2005a). General considerations for lung function testing. European Respiratory Journal 26, 153-161.
Miller, M.R., Hankinson, J., Brusasco, V., Burgos, F., Casaburi, R., Coates, A., Crapo, R., Enright, P., Van Der Grinten, C., and Gustafsson, P. (2005b). Standardisation of spirometry. European Respiratory Journal 26, 319-338.
Pellegrino, R., Viegi, G., Brusasco, V., Crapo, R., Burgos, F., Casaburi, R., Coates, A., Van Der Grinten, C., Gustafsson, P., and Hankinson, J. (2005). Interpretative strategies for lung function tests. European Respiratory Journal 26, 948-968.