Using a Spirometry Device to Assess Pulmonary Fibrosis Severity

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.

MORE: Find out more about the stages of pulmonary fibrosis.

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.

MORE: Treatment options for pulmonary fibrosis. 

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3 comments

  1. Brian Sowter says:

    Hi Wendy
    When I was diagnosed with IPF a year ago my FVC was 106%. After 6 months on Ofev it is now 113%. These measurements are checked by the drug company so it is not fake news. Does this mean Ofev is a cure? I think not.
    The reason for this apparent improvement is that I measure it 3 times a week using a hand-held spirometer and I am getting good at it. I also have had vocal training and been taught how to breathe with my diaphragm and have my LER treated with Lansoprazole.
    The moral of this story is FVC is not a good measure of progress of the disease but it is the best we have…at the moment.

  2. steve says:

    Do you just copy and paste what is already out there with your information? Do you even have PF? An expert you aren’t, one only has to have the condition and learns all about this disease and medication (and it’s effects both good and bad).

  3. Geoffrey T. Spaulding says:

    Certainly doing exercise, or practicing with the spirometer will improve one’s results, but 106%

    When I am evaluated, it’s in a booth with an attendant who supervises the test.

    At 46% forced vital capacity, I ‘mostly’ function as normal (at rest), but do require (or should use) supplemental oxygen under load.

    106!? Hole Lee. In my dreams, maybe.

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