Pulmonary Fibrosis News Forums Forums Welcome Lounge CONFUSED BY LATEST LUNG FUNCTION RESULTS


    Posted by marj on August 20, 2022 at 9:04 am


    My husband has recently seen his pulmonologist and given his latest test results.  I am somewhat confused by them. The previous three tests all showed a decline in both FEV1 and FVC but this one has increased from 3.49 to 3.84 and 3.91 to 4.23 respectively with FEV1/FVC ratio at 91% but his DLCO has stayed at 46% and his KCO is 59% (we have never been given a KCO reading before).  He does appear to be more out of breath recently too.  His doctor is concerned about a nodule on his latest CT scan and has prescribed anti-biotics and wants a repeat CT scan is a couple of weeks.   The other confusing thing is his Heart rate on the pulse oximeter.  His oxygen is 98% on both hands but his heart rate is 68 on his left hand and approximately 110 on his right hand.

    Can anyone tell us why his results would improve even though he appears to be declining.


    christie replied 1 year, 6 months ago 4 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • jaanetmczach

    August 23, 2022 at 4:58 pm

    I would leave a message on your husband’s patient portal or call and leave a message with a nurse or PA and pose your questions. Then let us know what you find out. All these cryptic numbers can be confusing to patients, and you have a right to an explanation.

    • christie

      August 23, 2022 at 8:10 pm

      Definitely. Your doctors should be able to explain everything in detail. Getting that info my email/portal message will be helpful as you can re-read and learn from it going forward.

  • john-fraze

    August 23, 2022 at 7:54 pm

    The numbers can change for a variety of reasons. The temperature, humidity, state of his health such as a bad cold or just the sniffles.
    The percentage of oxygen in the air is the same but cold dry air is much more compact than warm moist air so in summer it’s much easier to breathe in cool air conditioning than outdoors in warm humid air.
    Sometimes you will get slightly different results from different labs or at different times of year.
    On the different heart rates it would just be a guess on my part. It could be brief Tachycardia but I would repeat it two or three times a day and it keeps doing it I would call my pulmonologist. They should be able to tell you what all those numbers mean. Leave the pulse oximeter on his finger for half a minute or so before checking the readings.

    Good luck.

  • Thomas Johnson

    August 25, 2022 at 3:03 pm

    Hi Marj,

    I wouldn’t be concerned with the increases in this latest PFT.  So many factors can cause this.  Better to monitor changes over many test dates to determine the trends.  I use an Excel spreadsheet to chart all my PFT results over time…really helpful!  I have found my pulse oximeters to be generally unreliable in accurately reporting HR.  I’ve seen it jump from 30 to 120 to 80 in a 10 second span.  Best of luck.


    • christie

      August 25, 2022 at 9:17 pm

      Great advice Thomas.
      This column might be helpful for all of you who are interested in tracking your test results and progression over time. Kevin Olson used multiple tracking methods before his lung transplant.

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