Global Lung Function Initiative (GLI): Deriving global multi-ethnic reference values for the measurement of lung volumes

Chairs: Graham Hall and Brendan Cooper

Interpreting pulmonary function test (PFT) requires accurate reference ranges to help distinguish between health and disease and assess the severity and nature of any functional impairment.

The Global Lung Function Initiative (GLI) was funded by ERS to develop the first multi-ethnic all ages (2 to 95 years) spirometry reference ranges and these equations were endorsed by multiple national and international respiratory societies on release. This work is being built on by the GLI with the final analysis of over 12000 TLCO data underway. This Task Force intends to continue to build on the international generosity of the respiratory community by developing new reference values for the measurement of lung volumes. The 2005 ATS/ ERS PFT guidelines provided updated standards for the measurement and interpretation of lung volumes; however, no specific reference equation recommendations were provided. Further work is needed regarding ethnic differences and in periods of rapid growth such as during puberty.  We also plan to collate global plethysmography and multiple breath washout lung volume data to derive all-ages and multi-ethnic reference equations and thereby contribute to improved patient care.