British Lung Foundation
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COPD SPIRO readings/ interpretation?

Spiro results. HELP please

Hi I hope some kind person can help. i have just done a spiro test and the results are so different from last year. Last year  was told my lung function was 69%  and mild copd.

 Today its FEV1 1.18/ 48% 

FEV6 1.85/ 51%

FEV1/Fev 6    0.70/91%

Lung age 105!

Could anyone interpret this and tell me what my overall lung capacity is this year please 

Thanks so much CC

7 Replies

If you are comparing like to like your FEV1 has dropped from 69% to 48%. There can be several reasons for this which make the figures less ominous. If you had an infection, were recovering from one, or just did not blow well on the day then there would be a drop. FEV1 readings can even vary during one day. Try not to get too hung up on the numbers. For a more detailed analysis either ring the BLF nurses (number under the red balloon) or ask your pulmonary doctor/nurse to explain.


Hi What did the nurse say about your results? Or are those self measured with a piko device? 


Try not to let the seemingly scary lung age scare you too much, mine is 148. Chat to your Doctor or nurse or phone the help line, hopefully they will be able to reassure you. 


Thanks for your comments. I have felt that my lungs have deteriorated especially the past 5 months. Have never felt breathless unless really pushing myself but lately (last few months) out of breath with i.e. the slightest incline. Have always felt pretty fit and could not believe I had/ have COPD really. I have bought a home test spiro for COPD similar to the one nurses use. Im 59, ex smoker,  slim  usually fit but had a minor heart attack ,MI 18 months ago out of the blue. I am worried that my lungs have deteriorated at a rapid rate in one year. The other year when I was diagnosed (probably had it for years) my FEV1 was 56%, last year (after stopping smoking) it was 69% but now what a shock 48%! I feel horrified and frightened as I have gone from mild COPD to severe in less than a year.


My spirometry for the last few years seemed to show a slight improvement last year being 61%. This year it is 53%. When I questioned the nurse about this she explained that there any criteria to meet to get an accurate reading. Apparently I had been unable to reach this so got an inaccurate reading rather than a higher percentage figure. This year I met the criteria and got a true reading which appeared to show a large drop. Actually it was the same as I had in 2012. The reason I try to explain this is that it is possibly why you had a much lower reading. I wasn't told at the time that it was inaccurate. Sorry if I've rambked but trying to ease your mind a little. Try asking more questions of your nurse or doctor. There may be an explanation for your reduced persentage

1 like

Devils advocate: I wouldn't trust anyone to achieve a good blow.. unsupervised... on a home piko... without calibration. There'd be a dozen questions just to validate the result. If you're worried talk to your GP and ask for a(nother) spirometery.


I have the exact meter that the nurse is using


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