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PFT today...


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#1 LMS

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 12:16 PM

I don't know what to think. My pulmonologist told me my lung capacity is decreased. My results are:

FVC 69%
TLC 66%
DLCO 76%

What is considered normal? I have to go for a CT scan of my lungs and a 3D echo. He talked to me about the possibility of PAH. I think he is more sure than what he was letting on. Does anyone know what the normal values are? Thank you

Loren

#2 Snowbird

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 12:53 PM

Hi Loren

Sorry, I don't know what the numbers mean either (I'm still to new at this as well)...but I hope everything works out ok for you. I'm certain someone will definitely be able to help you on this site with your question soon though.
Sending good wishes your way!

#3 janey

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 01:10 PM

Loren,
I'm glad your doctor is having you take more test to narrow down what is really going on. The CT and the echo will provide different, but very valuable information. There is a link on our medical test page that many of us have used to interpret pft results. Here it is:

PFT Interpretation.

Below is some information I extracted from it and other sites as they relate to your questions. I think these are the normal values, but please verify with your doctor.

FVC > 75% of predicted normal (This is based on many different factors such as age, gender, height and weight)
TLC (total lung capacity) > 80%
DLCO (diffusing capacity) >80%

Hope this helps. Please let us know how the echo and CT turn out.

Big Hugs,


Janey Willis
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#4 LisaBulman

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 02:06 PM

Hi Loren,
I just had a pft last week and my FVC was around 70%, TLC (can't remember but it dropped) and my DLCO was 44%.

Like Janey said it all depends on the fators of height, age, weight etc... wait until you get the results of the CT and echo. Try not to think too much about the numbers... I know it is difficult not to!

Hugs,
Lisa
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#5 Gidget

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 02:01 PM

Hi Loren,
Sorry to be a pain; but the issue for you is if there is a trend downward in your PFTs. It seems that your pulmo dr. thinks that there is but if this is the first PFT you have had, then he really cannot determine if you are trending downward. The problem with trending downward is that you will at some point require treatment to stop the trend. It is my understanding that the CAT will confirm if you have some fibrosysis in your lungs or scarring, however it will be your regular PFTs that will determine if you have stablized or are moving downward. You can also have a BAL test for your lungs which will show the level of irregular cells compared to regular cells. The DLCO is an important indicator as it represents the exchange of oxegen without you having to do anything other than breathe. Good Luck Gidget

#6 LMS

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 01:31 PM

Thand you Everyone,
I think my pulmonologist is concerned because this is my first PFT and represents my baseline. If my baseline is abnormal the chances of me declining further is very possible.

Loren

#7 Clementine

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 08:13 AM

Gidget,
I didn't realize the DLCO was determined when not breathing. Any idea how that is measured?
I know what part of the test it is, but just curious how that works. Can you explain it further?
Jenxo

#8 Gidget

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 07:29 AM

Tangelo,
The DLCO reading is done as part of the TLC. Basically, they just have you breathe normally into the machine for a period of time. The machine measures the amount of oxegen exchange. Basically, if you breathe 10 molecules of oxegen in; then you should breathe 10 molecules of CO2 out--meaning 10 molecules went into your bloodstream and 10 molecules came out. If you breathe in 10 molecules and only breathe out 7 other molecules, then not all 10 molecules got into your blood stream. At least that is my understanding of how the DLCO works and is measured. REgards Gidget

#9 janey

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 08:59 AM

Hey Jen,
As we all know, different places perform tests differently. For the pft's that I've had they've used the single-breath DLCO. The DLCO is the portion of the test where you take a deep breath of a test gas (made up of helium, CO, oxygen and nitrogen (PFT's DLCO - Emedicine.com). I'm told to hold that gas for a few seconds then expel it all at once. The rate of diffusion as Gidget pointed out is then measured by what you breathe in vs. what you breathe out. By using the test gas, the CO levels are measured and the rate of diffusion is the difference in CO concentration of the test gas you took in compared to what you expelled.

You might want to check out the Emedicine link I provided as well as a new link in the pft section from your old stomping grounds - The National Jewish Medical and Research Center.

Big Hugs,
Janey Willis
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#10 Clementine

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 04:27 PM

Thanks ladies. Janey, I am still going to National Jewish Hospital. I think the closest sclero expert to me is Houston, which is just as far as Denver. I was always kind of hoping that my DLCO was not actually that low and that it was just the way I was doing the tests. Guess that test is black and white.

xo,
Tangelo

#11 Kim T

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 05:30 PM

Just to warn you, your PFT results are only as good as the technician administering the test. I had 3 PFTs over 6 years in my home town and had DLCO results going from 130% down to 120%. I thought I was sitting pretty good. Then I went to Seattle at Virginia Mason and my new doctor couldn't believe my PFT results so he redid them. My DLCO is actually only 76%. They don't even use the same comparison data to determine the percentages. So if you have concerns, make sure you go to a clinic that specializes in the testing.

#12 Clementine

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 12:36 AM

Thank you kim!! I think my dlco ranges from 55 to 65. I do go to a hospital that has been ranked #1 in respiratory for a few years so I do feel confident. Remember that man that had TB and flew back to US? He was quarantine at my hospital, LOL. I have been having these tests for 3 years now, and I have an average of 3 a year since it is so bad. Bummer, huh? Well, at least I feel pretty good :).
Thanks!
Jen