Methods: An electronic survey was sent to North American allergists belonging to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI). After a three week period, collected responses were analyzed.
Results: 496 members of the AAAAI participated in the survey. Of allergists that use bronchodilator reversibility testing, most (95.7%) administered the test to a majority of new patients with asthma symptoms (99.36%). One-fourth of allergists (25.61%) administered the test to a majority of new patients without asthma symptoms (90.38%). 374 allergists (76.64%) administered the test to a majority of new patients with a history of asthma (95.51%). Over half of allergists (55.74%) administered the test to a majority of follow-up patients with asthma (92.31%). 13.9% of allergists’ use cut-off points other ATS guidelines for interpreting positive bronchodilator reversibility tests. After a negative test, most allergists’ treat empirically, generally with inhaled corticosteroids (42.56%) or order a provocation test (27.67%).
Conclusions: Bronchodilator reversibility tests are most commonly administered for diagnosing new patients with asthma. A significant number of allergists do not follow ATS guidelines for interpreting results. This emphasizes a need for improved education on the selection criteria and interpretation of bronchodilator reversibility tests among allergists.