When diagnosing patients with pulmonary fibrosis (PF), doctors will use a spirometry device to determine the severity of the condition. A forced vital capacity test (FVC) is needed to assess how efficiently a PF patient can breathe; patients take a deep breath and then exhale into the spirometry device for a specific length of time.
The spirometry device measures how much air the patient can exhale from their lungs and the measurement is then used to stage the pulmonary fibrosis. A score greater than 75 percent means the patient has a mild case of pulmonary fibrosis, a score of 50 to 75 percent indicates a moderate case, 25 to 50 percent is classed as severe, and less than 25 percent is classed as very severe.
The FVC test will be taken periodically so that doctors can assess the progression of the disease.
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