Hi everyone. I am a middle aged previously fit mum. I have a long history of mild connective tissue and more recently weakening respiratory muscles. I have had 2 sets of lung function tests ( consistent with each other) done at my regional lung centre and another done at a teaching hospital. The problem is, the results between the 2 hospitals vary significantly to the point of being contradictory. How can I possibly know which ones to trust? Hope someone can advise?? Regards. Clare

10 Replies

Ad say teaching hospital as there bond to just blurt stuff out .. Where the regular place you go might want to gloss over stuff not to worry you

Do you have numbers from both

One of the joys of some lung conditions are not how consistent they are but what they seem to be doing on the day. I get out of breath with stairs and inclines but when my GP checks my O2 after sitting in the waiting room and then out side his room comes up with "Well it is not that bad now?" I am sorry but you may find they were both right, you may of had a good/bad day? Make notes when it is at it's bad times and what you were doing may help explain?

Be Well

My consultant always wants to do LFTs at the freeman, he won't take the results of my local hospital or compare one with the other because there is a degree of difference between machines. Not quite comparing apples and pears but similar. What you will need to look for is consistency each time with your previous results at that specific hospital.

As for being contradictory then I think you need to speak to your consultant if you have one (or your GP).

Good luck.


Hi Clareb67, I would agree with the other replies. What I would say is the advice I was given is that's how it was on that day and readings vary from day to day sometimes quite dramatically. Don't worry too much unless your readings are very low we are all different.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to reply and I think your advice is sound. My PI Max has dropped from 32 to 18 and PEMax from 51 to 23 in (Nov & Aug) at my local hospital whilst the big hosp claims normal mouth pressures (Apr) but reduced diaphragm function. MG is being queried as a diagnosis and things can deteriorate very rapidly. Fatigability is a feature of this condition and I find one of the washout tests too tiring to complete. I'm new to breathing problems, I expect you can tell!

Many thanks again.

Hi clareb67 cheers for numbers .. Is fitst av heard of test like that myself

A know there is good few others with same results ... Have they said how the going to fix it

Might be my ignorance but I cant understand myself if thay know your breathing muscals rot away why cant thay use them from your back ... like what is the fix for that

I was always informed a 10% difference is acceptable, beyond that you need to re sit with the same Consultants and make sure you get to get the 'in depth' tests! not the simple easy blow quickly and read out , you need monitors, chambers and around 40 mins to go through the big breathing tests, and they are 'very intensense' also a good Consultant will offer these , good luck :)

Thank you for that Flo1 & dazisnotsogood. 10% seems a reasonable variation. Mine is much greater than that. I do go to a proper lung lab and my tests take from 1 - 2 hours with all the pipes, tubes and transparent tardis! As you say, they are incredibly hard work. My Consultant started his letter with: 'Reassuringly your spirometry has improved . . ' yet in actual fact, it is worse . . Immediately one questions the credibility of such a letter.

Many thanks once again. Fingers crossed for better results next time.

Hi Clare, it may be possible that there is more to it: Spirometer can measure various aspects of lung function: ventilatory, gas diffusion, respiratory pressures etc. You have only talked about the respiratory pressures on here. So maybe other measures have improved? In my letters spirometry results are discussed in more detail regarding each feature: eg, normal ventilatory function, decreased gas transfer. You may need to have a closer look at your results and details in the letter. Otherwise, maybe contact your consultant/dr to discuss and explain these details and the overall conclusion. I personally think I would like to understand what is going on and would not like to doubt the credibility of the consultant's statements- that would make me worry too much. Good luck- let us know how you go.

Hi clareb67 wish i had the answers really do ... Only thing i can offer up is you must be suffering from Atrophy hows your diet been and have you been able to do any excersise or toning

Here's link on Breathing Atrophy


Really do it helps get to the bottom of whats going on ... Wishing you well all the best

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