Understanding Spirometry Results ?

Hi all, even though I have had many spirometry tests over the last 3 1/2 years I have never asked for the FEV & TLCO results but thanks to all you guy's, today I thought why not ask the technician for the figures.

I explained many of my friends on the healthunlocked BLF community site seem to know theirs and that it would be interesting to compare my results with a few others. She was very understanding and wrote them down for me so I thought I would post them to see what you think.

My FEV was 60% and my TLCO (gas transfer) was 33%. I never feel as though my breath intake and outbreath is restricted or obstructed and my problem lye's with the gas transfer across the alveoli due to scarring.

Anyway all you fellow sufferers out there how do I compare? if you don't mind me asking.


28 Replies

  • No idea Tony as I don't know what Pete's test results are like but I do know that his Sats are good. I hope you are doing well and haven't let the bad weather stop you completely. Take care and hope you get some comparisons soon. xxxx

  • My FEV1 is 19% and my sats are normally in the 96-98 range when resting. On the treadmill at the end they drop to 90 but back up again quite quickly and every day I use it, they are coming back a little quicker. Yay! xx

  • Hi scrobity, They have always told me my lungs can get air in and out quite well (the FEV bit) but my problem lye's with the gas transfer through the alveoli which is why my sats drop when moving. My sats vary from 90-98 when at rest. Without oxygen and exercising they will drop into the high 60s.

    It seems as though the TLOC or gas transfer is where my problem is at 33%, all I need now is some alveoli fix it cream. :) have you got any?

    Keep up that treadmilling your doing great!!!

  • Just done my first thirty minutes and sats barely dropped this time - yay! Treadmill is doing me heap big good LOL. :) x

    From memory (and I hope I'm not talking through my backside here), they did the gas exchange test and that came out at about the same as the FEV1 percent.

    If I had some alveoli fix it cream I would gladly share with you. :) x

  • I'll nip down to Boots and see if they have some of that cream on the shelf. You've got your torture out of the way and I'm just about to start mine to some Carlos Santana. Its up and running so I'd better jump ooooonnnnnnnnn! wahayyyyyy. Got a black Magic Woman :)

  • Some one mention Black Magic? Yum yum - oh you meant the song hee hee hee! Buzzing after my torture; even going to cook now and the cat has resumed his position on HIS treadmill. :) xx

  • Tony

    I have Interstitial Lung Disease and Pulmonary Hypertension. The last time I had a lung function test was June 2013. My FEV was 70% and my TLCOc was 23.2%. I don't know if that makes me better or worse than you. I am back at the Royal Brompton next week so here's hoping the TLCOc has improved with the Pulmonary Hypertension tablets

    I've been taking. Fingers crossed.



  • Hi BB, I have Interstitial Lung Disease and Pulmonary Fibrosis, from what I can make of it the TLCO or gas transfer through the Alveoli is our problem. Mine is caused by bad scarring of the lungs.

    It seems as though other lung disease sufferers have more difficulty getting air in and out (the FEV bit)

    Good Luck with your Hypertension Tablets and I hope you get some good results from the RB visit.

    Tony x

  • Hi Tony, nice FEV1%! Mine is 19, but then again I am in the final stage. My sats are low eighties without oxygen.

  • Wow Toci, those figure's make me look a picture of health. My consultant has always told me that my problem is with the gas transfer bit (the TLOC 33%) and this is beginning to make sense now seeing as my FEV1 looks quite good at 60%. My sats used to be in the 80s at rest but have now improved to average mid 90s. Its possible that my unexpected improvement is down to exercise but who knows for sure but I'll keep doing it anyway as things are going in the right direction.

    Tell the idiots who tell you its final stage not to be so blummin optimistic with their words.

  • I have pulmonary fibrosis and it seems I get air in and out of my lungs quite well at 60% but then I don't transfer it into my blood TLOC 33%. I have never felt as though my airways are obstructed but under any exercise I am soon very out of breath and my sats plummet without oxygen support.

    Thanks for your information buhrstone, as you say its difficult to compare but it helps understand different conditions and their effects on fellow sufferers.


  • Hi Tony. Fev1 is 23 now as opposed to 53 in the early summer. Never heard of TLCO but going to ask doc. Thanks for the comparison post. Wonder if anyone's Fev1 can improve and if so how. Sara x

  • Mine improved 4% when I stopped smoking and another 2% after beginning exercising, but has then slowly decreased again over time.

  • Hi Toci. Gave up the fags ages ago but had to give up Rehab because of breathlessness. Going to try the old treadmill because everyone was so encouraging about it. Thanks.

  • Hi Sara, my air in and out or FEV1 seems quite good compared to others on the site and maybe this is the case with fibrosis but the TLCO or gas transfer to and from the blood is 1/3rd of what it should be. This scarring of the lungs is a bummer ain't it.

    Your FEV1 has dropped considerably, what did your respiratory team have to say about it?

    I think the more we know about our condition and understand the words and numbers they throw at us the better.

    Thanks for your reply Sara.

    Tony x

  • Very interested in this thread... have been trying to understand all the TLCs and RSVPs and BTWs ....... but for all the tender loving care I'm giving it I'm not getting many answers...... and by the way this thread is better than Google :)

    Very new at this game and having to ask for everything I need.... latest was an oxygen assessment. My consultant never mentioned that I might need one. Have been recommended for a portable oxygen concentrator.

    Yippeeee next time I run for a train I might be able to speak when I get there....

    TLCO is 46% and I intend to go on a 4 month marathon of travel booked last year, and starting March 1st...... with or without the oxygen.... their choice!

    I'm still an uppity female... :)))))))))))

    Thinking about a treadmill machine Scrobbity, as I have 2 cats. :)

  • A 4 month travel session sounds utterly fabulous - not long now until March.

    A word of warning about the treadmill, the cats will, without doubt, make it their own and not let you get a look in! All joking apart, if you can use one before your trip, it will help tremendously. Take care :)

  • Thanks scrobbitty... Its all in the UK but so determined not to put life on permanent hold for a bit of scar tissue.... will investigate treadmill. Think space will be the problem in a small semi bungalow. :)

  • Absolutely the right attitude to have! My flat is quite teensy and the treadmill has to reside in the lounge but it does fold up if I need it to. In the end I decided living better and longer was a good price to pay for reduced space and the added bonus is that it's right next to the computer so easy for me to listen to documentaries whilst I hurtle (oh I wish) along the treadmill. :)

  • Hiya Ping. Reference your small bungalow. If you do a search on folding treadmills there are several that fold up flat against the wall. You will probably find that your cats are normal and wil leave it alone. Scrobby's, Kevin the Killer Kat, is not normal and is completely mad, pretty much like Scrobby really. lol. Good luck with it.

    Bobby xx

  • It's worrying when people know you so well LOL :) xx

  • Hi Bobby.... now you've met me what do you think the chances are of my cats being normal? :))))

    I'll do a search for a treadmill. Thanks. x

  • Hi PingAnnie I've just ordered a treadmill got it on Amazon just for walking and it only goes up to a speed walking rate it was under £140 .if you want I'll get the make and model tomorrow. X

  • They'll never resist the lure of the treadmill, both of mine are often found sitting on ours.

  • I know last time I had a lung function my fev1 was 29% but not such about the others got another one coming up in april

  • Its best to know as much as you can about the figure's they throw at you. It was only the knowledge I have acquired along the way that prevented the technicians rushing me through on a very busy day with a basic fev1 test and not doing the required TLCO test. My gas transfer is where my problem lye's so I spoke up and got the correct test done and hence the right information that my consultant and I needed for the following meeting.


  • I agree Tony. Knowledge is power. Before Christmas I accepted everything the consultant told me. By the New Year it had dawned on me that I actually knew nothing except the name of the condition I had.

    I set to and educated myself using the net, this site, facebook, Google, anything I could get hold of. I'm still learning but I now feel more in control of my health care.

    I feel I've achieved an enormous amount in 5 weeks, and compared to the previous 8 weeks, I've come a long way.

    Best of all I feel energised and optimistic.

    So chellshock, ask for your figures, get them explained to you. Ask for anything you think will help you and don't let them hold the power.... :))) xx

  • Hi everyone.

    Been to the local gym twice. ...2 ten minute walks on the treadmill. Only did 1.3mph.... :))

    Also used some of the other machines to strengthen legs and arms and open up ribcage. Feeling energised and optimistic.

    Spent 2 happy hours going at my own pace with oxygen & no breathlessness. Lost track of time.

    Started my countrywide trek too. Month one nearly completed. With the help of the Railway Assistance service I've managed very well. Been to Evesham, Billingham, South Shields, Telford, Dudley...... not exactly roadrunner yet but I'm on the move and will continue as long as humanly possible.

    Only down moment was first time I was offered a wheelchair at a station. However I felt so fresh at the end of the journey that it was worth climbing into it. :)

    All the best to everyone on here who give support to their fellow travellers....

    Bless you.

    Annie. x

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