Comparison of the ATS versus EU mini wright peak flow meter in normal volunteers

Gene R. Pesola, Gene R. Pesola, Pamela O'Donnell, Helen R. Pesola, Vernon M. Chinchilli, Robert T. Magari, Arthur F. Saari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives. The American Thoracic Society (ATS) and European Union (EU) have precise and accurate Mini Wright peak flow meters. The purpose of this investigation was to compare both 1) for accuracy using a pneumotachometer, 2) in volunteers to determine whether they are interchangeable, and 3) to spirometrically predicted peak flows. Methods. Lab testing: A pneumotachometer was connected in series with each peak flow meter and varying flows pushed through both meters for comparison. Human subjects: Nonsmoking adult volunteers did three standing peak flows. The order of peak flow meter used was random. The best of three efforts was used for analysis. The t-test, concordance correlation coefficient (CCC), Deming regression, and BlandAltman plot were the analytic strategies used to determine agreement. Peak flow results were compared to spirometrically predicted values. Results. Fifty-seven volunteers, average age 37 ± 12 years and mean BMI 24.9 ± 2.5 years, were included. The average peak flows were different at 541 ± 114 and 526 ± 112 Lmin for the ATS and EU meters, respectively (p <.01). Both peak flow meter values were significantly different than spirometrically predicted values of 483 ± 86 Lmin (p <.01). The CCC was 0.98 (0.970.99) and regression revealed a slope and y-intercept consistent with 1 and 0, respectively. The BlandAltman plot revealed no increase in scatter of values over the range of peak flows versus the difference with a mean bias of 15 ± 15 Lmin. Laboratory testing revealed that the ATS and EU peak flow meters read 3.0 ± 2.1 above and-2.0 ± 1.5 below the comparison pneumotachometer, respectively. The pneumotachometer comparison was significantly different for both meters at p <.01, paired t-test. Conclusions. The ATS peak flow meter reads 2.8 higher than the EU peak flow meter across a range of flows. Both meters have similar accuracy with a different bias compared with a pneumotachometer. Finally, both peak flow meters read slightly and significantly higher than spirometrically derived peak flows. Therefore, the peak flow meters are not interchangeable and both may obtain slightly higher values than those determined using current spirometrically derived prediction equations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1067-1071
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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