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January 5, 1994

The Diagnostic Value of the Forced Expiratory Time-Reply

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Wis

JAMA. 1994;271(1):26. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510250041024

In Reply.  —We thank Drs Kern and Patel for their thoughts as to why the FET as a diagnostic test of OAD proved better in our study than theirs.1 Kern and Patel state that a limitation of our study was that the population was limited to preoperative subjects. We performed a cross-sectional, blinded study to evaluate the PET using a group of 400 consecutive subjects who presented to the pulmonary-function testing laboratory of a large hospital. Our subject population was representative of a clinic population using the services of a tertiary care hospital. In contrast, the study by Kern and Patel was limited to 229 plumbers who volunteered to participate in a screening examination for asbestos-related disease. The markedly different results probably reflect differences in study populations. In our population, we found a 55% prevalence of OAD. For diagnostic purposes, a FET threshold of 6 seconds or greater provides

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