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Pulmonary function test

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#1 miocean


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Posted 20 May 2010 - 12:51 PM

I have had interstitial lung disease for over 5 years.I have been on oxygen 24/7, off oxygen, and on oxygen during exertion. I am currently not using it but have had periods over the past several months when I have needed it. I had a PFT on Thursday. My pulse ox was 98% when I got to the doctor's office. The test showed that most things had no change except my diffusion rate went from 54% to 37%. Didn't sound to good to me so I asked the doctor if there was anything to be concerned about. He said he wasn't concerned because everything else was good and it could have been a error on the test. I do have trouble breathing but am doing much better lately. I have a six minute walk test on June 8th and an appointment with my scleroderma specialist also so I will get more info then. Any suggestions or advice?

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#2 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 02:26 PM

Hi Miocean,

I sure don't know enough about diffusion rates to discuss them sensibly; maybe some others will pitch in? What I do know though is that individual numbers on the lung function tests don't count half so much as the overall pattern, when looked at over the years. Individual tests can be way down but then return to usual levels in the next round.

We've certainly seen a ton of variability in my husband's lung tests, both before and after his lung transplant. We've given up trying to figure out what it "means" and rather focus on whether or not it is something the doctor is worried about, or whether it indicates need for a treatment. The "general picture" is more important than specific numbers.

I don't have many suggestions, except to keep on with your recovery from your kidney transplant, keep on building up your endurance and try for a gold ribbon on your six-minute walk test. Odds are it is just another post-transplant fluctuation that will mend itself -- we've sure seen plenty of that around here. And be sure to address your concerns about this again, at your 6-minute walk visit.

Here's some more get-well flowers for you! :flowers:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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#3 enjoytheride


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Posted 21 May 2010 - 02:36 PM

It's so hard to know what is worth worrying over and what is not. It's good to hear you feel well especially with as much as you've gone through lately. And June 8th is pretty close. Maybe a good tome to ask more.

#4 Joelf


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Posted 22 May 2010 - 06:44 AM

Hi Miocean,

I also have interstitial lung disease and the local consultant I saw in April told me that the diffusion rates do vary and not to put too much emphasis on each individual result. This time last year my diffusion rates went from 54% to 48% between April and June and then during my treatment went to 65% and then 73% in December. At my last Lung Function Test in April of this year it had gone to 83% and I'm hoping at my next test in July it might be even higher. :emoticons-yes:

I would say, though, that most of the success of my treatment was because I was diagnosed very quickly and also I was extremely fit so my lungs were in excellent shape to start with and I noticed the cough and shortness of breath (classic symptoms! ;) ) early on before the inflammation on my lungs had a chance to get really established.

Hopefully when you see your consultant on 8th June everything will have stablised a bit more and he'll be able to put your mind at rest over your results. :)

I do hope everything is going well with your kidney transplant too. :VeryHappy:
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