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Letter to the Editor
  • Letter to the Editor, Philip H Quanjer
    Canadian Respiratory Journal
    Letter to the Editor (Pages 122-122), Issue 2, Volume 20 (2013)
  • Corrigendum
    Canadian Respiratory Journal
    Corrigendum (Pages 122-122), Issue 2, Volume 20 (2013)
Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 20, Issue 1, Pages 13-22
Special Article

Spirometry in Primary Care

Allan L Coates,1 Brian L Graham,2 Robin G McFadden,3 Colm McParland,4 Dilshad Moosa,5 Steeve Provencher,6 and Jeremy Road7

1Division of Respiratory Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2Division of Respirology, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
3Division of Respirology, Department of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
4Division of Respirology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
5Provider Education Program, Ontario Lung Association, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
6Centre de recherche de l’Institut Universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec, Service de Pneumologie, Québec, Quebec, Canada
7Respiratory Division, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Copyright © 2013 Canadian Thoracic Society. This open-access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC BY-NC) (, which permits reuse, distribution and reproduction of the article, provided that the original work is properly cited and the reuse is restricted to noncommercial purposes.


Canadian Thoracic Society (CTS) clinical guidelines for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) specify that spirometry should be used to diagnose these diseases. Given the burden of asthma and COPD, most people with these diseases will be diagnosed in the primary care setting. The present CTS position statement was developed to provide guidance on key factors affecting the quality of spirometry testing in the primary care setting. The present statement may also be used to inform and guide the accreditation process for spirometry in each province.

Although many of the principles discussed are equally applicable to pulmonary function laboratories and interpretation of tests by respirologists, they are held to a higher standard and are outside the scope of the present statement.