As medical science continues to advance, the emphasis on preoperative assessments has grown, becoming an essential step in ensuring successful surgical outcomes. Among the key factors considered in preoperative evaluation is the Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 second (FEV1), a critical measure of lung function. A recent study conducted by the Department of Nursing at Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, has shed light on the significance of preoperative FEV1. Published in the Asian Journal of Surgery, the study articulates the correlation between FEV1 values and postoperative recovery, corroborating the premise that FEV1 should be an integral part of surgical preparation protocols.

Authored by Yang Miao-Miao, Gao Jian, Yu Zheng-Hong, and Zhang Ying, the study meticulously outlines the impacts of FEV1 on patients undergoing various surgeries. The findings of this study have been made available online on January 13, 2024, ahead of the print edition, with the article identifier: S1015-9584(24)00023-X and DOI: 10.1016/j.asjsur.2023.12.207.

In-Depth Analysis of Preoperative FEV1

The Forced Expiratory Volume in the first second (FEV1) is a quantifiable breath measure that indicates how much air a person can forcibly exhale in one second. It is fundamentally used to assess lung function, especially in diseases that cause respiratory obstruction like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). According to the study’s primary researcher, Yang Miao-Miao, and the research team of Zhongshan Hospital, measuring FEV1 before surgery can provide valuable insights into a patient’s pulmonary reserves and predict postoperative lung function.

Methodology of the Study

The team conducted a comprehensive review and analysis of preoperative FEV1 measurements in patients who were scheduled for surgical procedures. They compared these values with postoperative outcomes, including the duration of hospital stay, the incidence of postoperative respiratory complications, and overall patient recovery. By doing so, the researchers aimed to establish a clear connection between preoperative lung capacity and surgical recovery.

Finings and Implications

The team’s findings showed a robust correlation between higher preoperative FEV1 levels and better postoperative outcomes. Patients with higher FEV1 values typically experienced fewer complications, shorter hospital stays, and faster recuperation times. Notably, this relationship was maintained across different types of surgeries, signifying the universal applicability of FEV1 as an assessment tool. Corresponding author Zhang Ying states, “Our study emphasizes not only the diagnostic value of FEV1 but also its prognostic significance in the surgical domain.”

Clinical Impact and Future Directions

This research contributes significantly to the current understanding of preoperative assessments and patient preparation for surgery. With evidence mounting on the relevance of FEV1, medical professionals, including surgeons and anesthesiologists, might integrate FEV1 measurements into routine preoperative evaluations more consistently. This integration could lead to more personalized surgical plans and risk mitigation strategies, ultimately improving patient care.

Future directions based on this study could involve larger-scale research to further validate the findings, as well as the development of guidelines for the use of FEV1 in specific surgical populations, such as the elderly or those with preexisting pulmonary conditions.


While the article by Yang Miao-Miao and colleagues acts as a primary source for this news report, there are several other studies and reviews that lend support to their conclusions:

1. Ferguson, G. T., Enright, P. L., Buist, A. S., & Higgins, M. W. (2000). Office spirometry for lung health assessment in adults: A consensus statement from the National Lung Health Education Program. Chest, 117(4), 1146-1161. doi:10.1378/chest.117.4.1146
2. Guenette, J. A., Chin, R. C., Cory, J. M., Webb, K. A., & O’Donnell, D. E. (2014). Inspiratory reserve volume during exercise: A potential marker for dynamic hyperinflation in patients with COPD. European Respiratory Journal, 44(3), 725-734. doi:10.1183/09031936.00186313
3. Licker, M., de Perrot, M., Spiliopoulos, A., Robert, J., Diaper, J., Chevalley, C., & Tschopp, J. M. (2002). Risk factors for acute lung injury after thoracic surgery for lung cancer. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 95(6), 1512-1517. doi:10.1097/00000539-200212000-00032
4. Qaseem, A., Wilt, T. J., Weinberger, S. E., Hanania, N. A., Criner, G., van der Molen, T., Marciniuk, D. D., Denberg, T., Sch√ľnemann, H., Wedzicha, W., MacDonald, R., & Shekelle, P. (2011). Diagnosis and management of stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A clinical practice guideline update from the American College of Physicians, American College of Chest Physicians, American Thoracic Society, and European Respiratory Society. Annals of Internal Medicine, 155(3), 179-191. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-155-3-201108020-00008
5. Brunelli, A., Kim, A. W., Berger, K. I., & Addrizzo-Harris, D. J. (2013). Physiologic evaluation of the patient with lung cancer being considered for resectional surgery: Diagnosis and management of lung cancer, 3rd ed: American College of Chest Physicians evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Chest, 143(5 Suppl), e166S-e190S. doi:10.1378/chest.12-2395


1. Preoperative FEV1
2. Surgical outcomes
3. Lung function assessment
4. Postoperative recovery
5. FEV1 lung capacity

In conclusion, the study carried out by researchers at Fudan University offers key insights into how preoperative lung capacity can predict and potentially enhance surgical outcomes. With this significant step towards a more refined approach to surgery, health practitioners can aspire to achieve better patient care through the integration of FEV1 into the fabric of preoperative evaluation.