Age Dependency of GLI Reference Values Compared with Paediatric Lung Function Data in Two German Studies (GINIplus and LUNOKID).

PloS one

PubMedID: 27438002

Hüls A, Krämer U, Gappa M, Müller-Brandes C, Schikowski T, von Berg A, Hoffmann B, Schuster A, Wisbauer M, Flexeder C, Heinrich J, Schulz H, Berdel D. Age Dependency of GLI Reference Values Compared with Paediatric Lung Function Data in Two German Studies (GINIplus and LUNOKID). PLoS ONE. 2016;11(7):e0159678.
A hallmark of the newly published GLI (Global Lungs Initiative) spirometric reference values is their "all-age" (3-95yr) predictive power, accomplished by incorporating non-linear age dependencies into modelling parameters. This modelling strategy is especially promising for the age range of puberty; however, the performance of GLI-values for adolescents is currently unknown. We calculated GLI-based z-scores for children/adolescents without apparent respiratory diseases from two different German studies, LUNOKID (N = 1943, 4-19 years) and GINIplus (N = 1042, 15 years) and determined the goodness of fit for specific age groups. We defined fit sufficient if the absolute mean of z-scores was <0. 5. For children (<10yr) the mean GLI-based z-scores for FEV1 and FVC reached a good fit with mean z-scores for FEV1 between -0. 11 and 0. 01 and mean z-scores for FVC between 0. 01 and 0. 16, but larger deviations were observed in adolescents, especially boys (mean z-score -0. 58 for FEV1 and -0. 57 for FVC in GINIplus). The fit for FEV1/FVC was sufficient. GLI reference values provided reasonable estimates for the individuals enrolled in our studies, which span the age range of lung growth and development. However, we found that GLI-predictions overestimated lung volumes, especially those for German adolescent boys, which may, left unrecognised, lead to erroneous diagnosis of lung disease. Caution should be taken when applying these reference values to epidemiologic studies.