What constitutes an obstructive ventilatory impairment in a pediatric population? A study design


Mariem Abdesselem
Nadia Ben Lazreg
Helmi Ben Saad



Introduction : There is no clear consensus as to what constitutes an obstructive ventilatory impairment (OVI) in pediatric populations.

Aim : To determine the percentage of children/adolescents having an OVI among those addressed for spirometry after taking into account the definitions advanced by some international scholarly societies [British Columbia (BC), British thoracic-society (BTS), Canadian thoracic society (CTS), European respiratory society and American thoracic society (ERS-ATS), global initiative for asthma (GINA), Irish college of general practitioners (ICGP), national asthma council (NAC), national institute of clinical excellence (NICE), Société de pneumologie de langue française et de la société pédiatrique de pneumologie et allergologie (SPLF-SP2A), and South African thoracic society (SATS)]. Methods : This bi-centric cross-sectional study will involve two medical structures in Sousse/Tunisia, and will encompass children/adolescents aged 6-18 years. A medical questionnaire will be administered, clinical and anthropometric data will be collected, and the spirometric data will be measured by two spirometers. The following six definitions of OVI will be applied: i) GINA: Forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) < 80% and a FEV1/forced vital capacity (FVC) ≤ 0.90; ii) ICGP: FEV1/FVC < 0.70; iii) ERS-ATS or BTS or SATS or SPLF-SP2A or NAC: FEV1/FVC z-score < -1.645; iv) NICE: FEV1/FVC < 0.70 or FEV1/FVC z-score < -1.645; v) CTS: FEV1/FVC < 0.80 or FEV1/FVC z-score < -1.645; and vi) ERS: “FEV1 z-score or FEV1/FVC z-score” < -1.645 or “FEV1 or FEV1/FVC” < 0.80.

Expected results : The percentage of children/adolescents ....( abstract truncated at 250 words)



Algorithm, Asthma, BTS , ERS/ATS , FEV1/FVC ratio , GINA , Health problem, Interpretation, Lung function test , Scholarly societies


Author Biographies

Mariem Abdesselem, Laboratory of Physiology and Functional Explorations, Heart Failure (LR12SP09) Research Laboratory, Farhat Hached Hospital, , Sousse, University of Sousse, Tunisia.

University of Sousse, Farhat HACHED Hospital, Laboratory of Physiology and Functional Explorations, Sousse, Tunisia.

Nadia Ben Lazreg, Laboratory of Physiology and Functional Explorations, Heart Failure (LR12SP09) Research Laboratory, Farhat Hached Hospital, , Sousse, University of Sousse, Tunisia.

University of Sousse, Farhat HACHED Hospital, Laboratory of Physiology and Functional Explorations, Sousse, Tunisia.

Helmi Ben Saad, Laboratory of Physiology and Functional Explorations, Heart Failure (LR12SP09) Research Laboratory, Farhat Hached Hospital, , Sousse, University of Sousse, Tunisia.

  • Professor of Physiology and Functional Explorations at the Faculty of Medicine of Sousse - Tunisia, Department of Physiology and Functional Explorations at EPS Farhat HACHED - Sousse - Tunisia.
  • President of the College of Physiology and Functional Explorations (terms: 2014-2017 and 2021-2023).
  • Master's degree in Biological and Medical Sciences from the University of Montpellier I, France.
  • World expert in spirometry (ranked 1st in Africa): https://expertscape.com/ex/spirometry/c/afr.
  • Diploma of Advanced Studies in "Human Movement Sciences" from the University of Montpellier I, France.
  • Interuniversity Diploma "Pathophysiology of Exercise and Functional Exercise Explorations" from the University of Montpellier 1, France.
  • International PhD in Sciences between the Universities of Montpellier I (France) and Monastir (Tunisia).
  • European Spirometry Driving License Part 1 (theory only) and the European Spirometry Training Program (Part 2: knowledge and competence in practice) and the European Spirometry train-the-trainer course.
  • Invited speaker at numerous international congresses on respiratory functional explorations.
  • Author of over 250 scientific articles in indexed and impact factor journals.
  • Potential reviewer for over 100 indexed and impact factor journals and potential external reviewer for the University of Cape Town (South Africa), uwait (Kuwait) and Mutah (Jordan).
  • Winner of the Sadok BESROUR Award for Excellence in Medical Research (2021).
  • Web:
  1. http://scholar.google.fr/citations?hl=fr&user=oeV_0OwAAAAJ&view_op=list_works&sortby=pubdatehttp://www.researchgate.net/profile/Helmi_Ben_Saad
  2. https://publons.com/author/602231/helmi-ben-saad#profile
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Helmi_Ben_Saad


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