Abbreviations in pulmonary conditions - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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Abbreviations in pulmonary conditions


There are so many abbreviations which appear in both questions and answers, and, quite frankly most are double dutch to me! I know sob (shortness of breath) and PR (pulmonary rehabilitation, and that's about it. I was wondering if one of the members who has been on this site for longer than I have ( about 5 - 6 months), could possibly compile a list of abbreviations and their meanings for us novices. I know this subject has been raised before. If too many are used in the same question it can put you off answering it. I realise that this would be time consuming for someone. Or maybe BLF could help out? I think it would be of great benefit and aid us in understanding conditions which we do not know about. In fact, if such a list/dictionary was compiled by someone or even several people then maybe BLF could be persuaded to have it permanently on their website. I would be so grateful for you giving this some thought. I can see it really benefiting everyone. Thanks as always. hugs xxx

68 Replies


LTOT .........Long term oxygen therapy .

STOT.........Short term oxygen therapy .

LVRS.........Lung volume reduction surgery

RTIs.........Respiratory tract infections

IPF........idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

AMU...........Acute medical unit.

HCP...........Health care professional


ABG .......arterial blood gasses.

COPD.......chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

DLA.........disability living allowance

ESA.......employment and support allowance

PR............Pulmonary rehablitation

PIP?..........personal independant payment.

SOB.........shortness of breath.

JSA............job seekers allowance

From a previous member Blackly c

For those unfamiliar with the abbreviations used relating to lung health. Hope this list will help. I will start the list with just a few people have queried recently and add to it as and when. Perhaps others will too.

ABG = Arteriel Blood Gas

ARDS = Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

BLF = British Lung Foundation

BIPAP = Biphasic Intermittent Positive Airway Pressure

CAD = Chronic Airways Disease

COPD = Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

CPAP = Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

DLCO = Diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide

EMA = European Medicines Agency

ENT = Ears, Nose and Throat

FEV = Forced expiry volume - for other abbreviations concerning spirometry test scroll down to "measurements

made in Spirometry" on this page link

IPF = Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

NHS = National Health Authority

NICE = National Institute of Clinical Excellence

02 sats = Blood oxygen saturations

PF = Pulmonary Fibrosis

PR = Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Sats = Saturations (normally referring to blood oxygen saturations)

More from member Toci

HOOF.....Home Oxygen Order Form

lpm.......litres (of oxygen) per minute

FEV1........forced expiratory volume in one second (exhaled breath)

sats........blood oxygen saturation levels

POC........portable oxygen concentrator

LOX.....liquid oxygen

BIPAP.......Biphasic Positive Airway Pressure

NICE guidelines........guidance set for medical professionals by the National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence

You pinched my idea ! :)

Sorry Puff! ha ha. You have to be quicker off the mark!

My answer was directed at Stone but the way the answers come up confuses the issue ! :)

Its ok Puff, it doesn't matter, as long as the information is out there. hugs xx

Great minds think alike puff.

Definitely ! :)

Hi Puff & Stone, I will not remind you of he second part of that saying, because you have both been so helpful to me and others all the time!! hugs xx

Hidden in reply to stone-UK

thanks so much for the lists

Louisiana in reply to stone-UK

thank you so much for this...I've just joined and I started to think I wouldnt understand any of it. I am76 and the word computer wasn't even in my language when I was growing up, so I am not too brilliant on it...can you tell me how I could print or copy your reply to a file so I can keep referring to it???? any advice would be great....I know I hear you silly old thing...that's OK (really) :)

stone-UK in reply to Louisiana


If you wait a few days either I or Huggs will post a complete list for members to copy.

huggs in reply to stone-UK

Hi stone, Thanks for that reply to Louisiana, because I can't really help much in that department. Would you mind doing it? You are much more computer savvy than me and will organise it far better as well. My intuition tells me, ( as well as lack of computer knowledge) tells me this. My head is just burling (Scottish word) with all the replies. If you can't do it, then I will try my best, but you would be much better than me. If you can do it and want any input from me then just pm me. See what I have just done? Used an abbreviation. Naughty step for me as well. Offcuts already on it.!! Take care, hugs xx

stone-UK in reply to huggs


Will start after I been shopping. Will PM ( personal /private message) you later.

huggs in reply to stone-UK

Stone, you are an angel. Thank you so much from me and everyone else. Humungous hugs xxx

huggs in reply to Louisiana

Hi Loisiana, A very warm welcome to the site, and you will find loads of help and friends on it. I am not brilliant on the computer at all, as I haven't had it very long, and had nobody to help me at the time. I basically just sat at it, and fumbled around and learning that way. I have to tell you however, that the computer flew across the room (carefully aimed to land on the bed) a few times. I have sworn at it. My cat loves it and jumped on the keyboard and the whole screen rotated, and I had no clue how to get it back. I only had the computer 2 weeks at the time. I think your doing great getting around the internet and finding out things. As far as printing pages go, just connect your printer with the lead supplied with your printer or computer. My printer is currently broken and because I haven't been well, I have not been able to see about getting it fixed. From my memory I think that a picture of a printer will appear and you click on that. There may be drop down boxes that appear at some point, but they will tell you what to do, or give you options. Someone with much more knowledge about computers than me will maybe come on and help you more than I can. Have you enquired at your local library or further education department if they run basic computing courses for beginners. I am trying to think of an easy way to get all the abbreviations catergorised together so that they can be printed out. I think printing them will be the easiest way of doing this, as you can have the printout beside you when on this site. I am sorry I cannot be of any help to you with your problem but someone will come along and explain it to you. If they don't then just post a question, like you did above and you will be inundated with replies!! Good luck and hope you find an answer. Most of the basic things are simple and the computer will often guide you. Once you have learned something then keep practising it, until it becomes second nature. By the way, you are not a silly old thing. Far from it, and I think its great that you want to continue to learn things. Take care, hugs xxx

For the moment, you could write some of them down, and as I say I am hoping that someone will help us out in some way. xx

huggs in reply to huggs

Have just seen Stones reply, so there you go. Problem solved. xx hugs

Louisiana in reply to huggs

thank you soooo much for your reply - and for the giving me a smile when I read what you did to your computer :) It will be great to have the list on my desk so I can check it regularly. Take care.

huggs in reply to Louisiana

.Hi again Louisiana, I don't know if you have seen the replies between Stone and myself, but he is going to compile a list so that everyone can copy it. He will be much better at it than me. Once it is done it will be available for everyone, and if you have any problems just ask someone. You'll be fine, and are doing great. hugs xx

Louisiana in reply to huggs

this will be brilliant and thank you both very much! :)

Louisiana in reply to stone-UK

In my reply to you I left out the word I hear you "saying"

Hi Stone,

Thanks a lot for that. I realise now that there are a few more that I did know like pip and copd. I will write down the ones I don't know and if you think of any others in relation to pulmonary disorders in particular I would be grateful for those also from you or anyone else. Take care and I hope you are well at the moment. hugs xx

I have just noticed your additions to your first list and this is excellent. Thank you so much for your help and kindness. This will help me understand others conditions better. An extra big hug for you tonight. hugs xxx

Thanks huggs for bringing this up - I am so guilty, although I am more aware if I am replying to a member I know to be new, but no excuses. Just a few I can think of at the moment:

abs: anti-biotics

dx: diagnosis

amox: Amoxillin

doxy: Doxycyline

cipro: Cirprofloxicin

co-amox: CoAmoxiclav/Augmentin

sats: Oxygen saturation levels

HI: Haemophylus Influenzae

Pseudo: Pseudomonas

that's all my fuddled brain can think of tonight. It's good to remind us now and again - thank you.


huggs in reply to cofdrop-UK

Thank you so much for doing this for me and others. It can only benefit our understanding of lung conditions that we as individuals do not have. I am so pleased that no offence has been taken by Stone and yourself. You have given me a lot, considering your brain is fuddled! LOL Go and have a good nights sleep. I was going to write these all down as my printer is broken, but there are so many and by morning I think there will be a few more. I will need to ask a friend if he can print them out for me and then I can have the list beside me when I am on this site. Once I am familiar with them I promise not to fall into the trap of using them.! Whoops maybe I shouldn't have said that. ha ha. Night night Cofdrop. hugs xx

Louisiana in reply to huggs

thank you!

A few more.

BODE ( Index ) - Body mass index, airflow Obstruction, Dyspnea and Exercise capacity.

A1AD - Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency.

CXR - Chest X-ray.

CF _ Cystic fibrosis.

GERD - Gastroesophageal reflux disease.

ILD - Interstitial lung disease.

OBA - Obstructive sleep apnoea

PE - Pulmonary embolism.

PLB - Pursed lip breathing.

Thanks Puff, even although I pinched your idea! This is very helpful to everyone I think. hugs xxx

thank you

Hi. I'm new too and would love to know what things stand for. Only diagnosed with AF 3 weeks ago, so everything is new to me. Am on betablockers and am waiting to see the cardiologist. Any help from this site/group would be most welcome. Stay well everyone :-)


huggs in reply to babalulu

Thanks babalulu, I am guessing that AF stands for atrial fibrillation? See, you are new and falling into the same trap as us all. I think that we should try and not use abbreviations as much as possible, apart from the very obvious ones. I know this will be difficult for those who have been on the site regularly and got into the habit of this. Its just so much easier when reading a question, not to spend ages trying to find out what it means and if you can help that person or not. hugs xx

babalulu in reply to huggs

Thank you hugs! Yes, I did fall into the trap of using abbreviations - blame the doctor! :) I am researching my condition as much as possible; will know more when I've seen the cardiologist. This site is so good....thank you everyone! :) xxx


I quite agree with you and thanks for bringing it up. I have bronchiectasis and it seems that the COPD people have their own language . Let's hope somebody helps us out.

huggs in reply to Hidden

I have copd and waiting to find out if I have bronchiectasis and cannot for the life of me work out the copd language! Fevs and things! There are a lot of answers given already which will help enormously. Take care, hugs xx

....... Here's another one: px = prescribed xxxx

Good question Huggs, I was the same when I joined, I even learnt on here what ROFL means. I always felt silly not knowing and asked Stitch after I'd been on a whole year!

Hoping you're well, P

huggs in reply to peege

Thanks for that Peeg. Much appreciated. I didn't know what ROFL meant either, and have just found out that it means rolling on the floor with laughter. I googled it! Just getting back into the swing of things after a few set backs . Take care, hugs xx

I wont tell you what LMFAO means. You'll have to Google it ! :D

Naughty Puff! I will google it later on when I have the time.( tonight), and I will let you know what it is. I know you know, but I want you to know that I know, because I have a feeling it is something rude. ha ha .Your yellow face has an evil grin on it! Me thinks you are being mischievous with me. Talk to you later. hugs xx

As I said before Puff, I knew it was a naughtiness. We women can read you like books. Anyway I know what it is! Be afraid, very afraid!! ha ha ha.

hugs xxx

ps I did not have to google it!!

We can't hide nothing from you ladies ! :)

Puff you are a clever, intelligent and perceptively honest man, who is not afraid to admit the truth. We women salute you!! LOL hugs xxx

Hehe ! :)

ha ha lol

peege in reply to huggs

how did you get on, did you get to see the doc on that Bank Hol Tuesday?

huggs in reply to peege

Hi Peeg, I did not go to the appointment, and thanks for your concern. I did post a collective answer to everyone. It was a long and detailed post explaining everything that happened. I don't know how you will find it. There was a lot to tell. If you cannot find it then get back to me and I will go through it all again. I think the date was the 27th May if that is any help. As I say it was a long ( naturally) explanation so I just put the post out there. I don't think I got many replies if any, which I was a bit surprised about. Hope you are well, and take care. email me if you can't find the post. hugs xxx

qol: quality of life

dh: dear husband or dickhead - depending on how you feel!

5*: hospital


huggs in reply to cofdrop-UK

Ha ha ha . Just laughing at the second one on your list. Thanks for these. My goodness, I did not realise quite just how many abbreviations there are. There is a whole new language out there. Take care and thanks again. hugs xx

peege in reply to cofdrop-UK

haha, love the second one - it's just about the only it of BSL I can remember (British Sign Language)!

I added ours to Blakey's list when he did it some time ago but not on there now - IPH - Idiopathic Pulmonary Haemosiderosis - rare lung condition which my husband has .

huggs in reply to Helen08

Thanks a lot for this Helen. I am quite astounded by the response to my question, as well as being very grateful. I am hoping that with people explaining all the abbreviations that we can all learn much more about everyone elses condition and maybe our own as well. I hope your husband is keeping not too bad. I will look up his condition later. Take care, hugs xx

RLD = Restrictive Lung Disease

TLC = Total Lung Capacity

PAH = Pulmonary Atrial Hypertension

huggs in reply to Offcut

Thanks a lot for your contribution Offcut. It really is much appreciated, and other members are thanking you all as well. It seems that this has been needed for a while. Take care, hugs xx

Thanks all of you. I too had been wondering about some of the abbreviations and these lists are a godsend. Thanks again.

Hi Juney, I agree that this information is a godsend and will benefit most people at some time or another, by understanding a question properly and being able to give a better answer than before. Take care, hugs xx

Hello Huggs, so glad you posed this question and glad we are both singing from the same sheet. Since I came onto this site about three weeks ago I have been absolutely delighted to see that there are people like you who are in the same boat as people like me! You have made me feel so much better. Thank you again.

Love Juney

Hi again juney, You are very welcome and I am absolutely delighted with the response from people who have answered the question, and also with people like you and I who have needing something like this, and have came on to say that they appreciate the lists. Take care, hugs xx

Wow great idea huggs,I didn't know what sob stood for till I read your post,shame really I'd be dangerous if I had a brain.x

huggs in reply to jeanielee

Ha ha jeanielee, I am laughing at your comment about your brain. I usually talk about my alleged brain.!! lol Glad you will learn from the lists that all the knowledgeable and kind people have posted. hugs xx

Even after all that you missed one - it's one I got picked up on it the other day:

TX .... transplant

huggs in reply to out-for-lunch

Hi out-for-lunch, Thanks for adding the missing one. These abbreviations and their meanings will really be helpful. Take care, hugs xx

huggs, I'm glad somebody else here has done the job, Well done! I would have said, how much are you going to pay me ?

Abbreviations I know like FEV, to me I find it more interesting to seek what to do to improve our condition; concentrate on exercises and good eating. I hope you've taken your strawberries today (full of iron,mainly and vit c). You sound well.

huggs in reply to helingmic

Hi Mick, Its lovely to hear from you, and, I am so very grateful to everyone who responded to my question. If we understand the abbreviations and what they mean, then we who do not have the knowledge of certain conditions can learn about it, and be more helpful hopefully to questions. You are right that we all have a responsibility to learn all we can about our own situation, and what we can do to improve it. Hope you are keeping well. Take care, hugs xxx

It seems from the responses that this was a question that a lot of people wanted answers to. I now have to find a way to organise the abbreviations. xx

helingmic in reply to huggs

Either alphabetically or by themes, i.e. lungs, Social Security,...

huggs in reply to helingmic

hi Mick, I was going to start on something tonight, but I have had a long day, and am far too tired to even think. Your ideas are probably spot on.

I am much better now Mick. I picked up a bit yesterday and now I am feeling nearly normal, whatever that is! I did not expect such a great response when I posted the question, but it seems people want to know. Look after yourself Mick and be good! hugs xxx

I can only think of one not already explained....D.O.G.T.D.K.A.=dozy old git that does,nt know anything?And it only seems to apply to ME!lol Happy breathing folks)"-"(

huggs in reply to FarmerD

Hi FarmerD,

ha ha ha. I love it when people make fun of themselves. I think its healthy. Anyway, your abbreviation doesn't apply to you, but I know a couple it fits perfectly!! Thanks. Take care, and I hope you are well. hugs xx

WDH - Well Done Huggs


huggs in reply to cofdrop-UK

hi cofdrop,, aww that is so nice of you. Thanks again for your contribution, and it seems to have taken off! I had no idea the response would be so wonderful. I am going to think long and hard about the best way to deal with the abbreviations and get them into some kind of format which would be readily available for everyone. Alas I do not have the technical know how, but somebody will. I might even ask BLF if they can help. Thank you for my own special abbreviation and I am touched that you thought of it. Take care, keep well. hugs xxxx

Err Mm NHS shouldn't it read National Health Service and not National Health Authority. Sorry only nit picking. Thank you all for the list very informative. Even though some of us positive people tend to use the D in COPD As Disorder and not disease. Please take care thinking of you all. Xx

huggs in reply to breathless

Hi breathless. Very observant of you! You are of course quite right. Perhaps you could go through them all and check them for me? I am a novice (my excuse & I'm sticking to it) !!!! Glad you think the lists will help everyone out. Everyone has been fantastic, and I certainly did not expect this level of response. Thanks again for reading and correcting any errors. I have not looked through them in fine detail as yet, as I had a very long day yesterday and then I replied to everyone. hugs xxx

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