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British Lung Foundation
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FEV1 FEV1/fvc ratio??

Hi everyone.. i am 45 yr old male x smoker. I am new to this forum. I went to see a lung specialist because I was having sob and was given a Spirometry test and Dr said my fvc 81% FEV1 75% and my FEV1/fvc ratio was 75.6% I am confused. what does this mean?? He gave me 2 inhalers and told me to use them to see I feel better. Do I have COPD ?? He also mentioned something about DLCO was normal. Thanks guys any info would be great.

9 Replies


this FEV1/FVC ratio may indicate you have early stage COPD, but I would suggest you discuss these result with your doctor.

Which inhalers have you been given and were you shown how to use them?

DLCO refers to how well your lungs transfer oxygen from the lungs to the bloodstream.

If you live in the UK you may like to join the COPD UK Facebook page.

Good wishes,



Hi as far as I understand it anyone with an fev1 (lung function) less that 89% is considered to have copd. If your fev1 is 75% then yes it is copd but it is in the early stages so there is a lot you can do to keep it from deteriorating to the more severe stages. You need to lead as healthy a lifestyle as possible to give yourself the best chance.


JEG4 says he's an ex smoker Lil :)

And big congratulations to you (and JEG4!) on quitting - don't know if you mentioned it before but it must have passed me by if you did. :) :)


Oops. Amended my reply. Sorry JEG4 xx


Hi Lil - congrats to you for stopping! I really needed to see this today. I've been fighting giving up as i really do enjoy it despite knowing I shouldn't! I long to walk even a short distance without suffering so much and your post has given me the kick up the bum i needed. So today I start my journey to stopping this terrible habit. I'm exciting 😊. Sorry to jump on your thread jeg4.


Were you given a reversibility test JEG4? That's a second spirometry test around 20 minutes after the first, after taking some ventolin (salbutamol)? This will show if the medication makes a difference, in which case it may be asthma which is causing the obstruction, rather than copd. Reversibility is what distinguishes asthma from copd.


So, you (pay to?) see a specialist.. then ask on here, when, with no disrespect to anyone, posters are often given unreliable replies?

Why not ask the specialist?

Fev1/FVC is your measure that is important and 75% ratio is in the normal range - at worst mild copd, possibly late onset asthma (hence O2's question regarding reversibility) or just unfit and/or obese.

However that assumption/calculation is based on an fairly low FVC (lung capacity) for people posting on here.

Fev1 (Forced Expiry Volume) is the volume of air that you can blow out in 1 second.

FVC (Forced vital capacity) is your lung capacity, the total volume of air that can forcibly be blown out after full inspiration in however long, but usually stopped at 12 seconds to avoid fainting.

Normal range = should be able to blow 70% of your total lung capacity (FVC) in 1 second. (arguably up to 80%, dependant on your country's Health Dept view)

Fev 1 is measured in litres, so 2 or 3 litres, or thereabout. If big number like 40, 60, 80 etc that will be % of predicted - that which is expected from 'normal lungs' of a person your height, age & gender.

Men have almost always have significantly bigger lungs than women, and so different norms.

Predicted number is an average of normal for your gender, that include big people with small lungs and small people with big lungs.

So taken by itself Fev1 could look 'obstucted' because your blow is less than average... but you could have smaller than average lungs thus actually be normal..

Someone else could blow 90% predicted but have bigger than average lungs and actually be obstructed.

So they need to take into account the size of your own lungs hence the ratio of blow(FEV1) to volume (FVC) where Fev1 divided by FVC (FEV1/FVC) = 75%, arguably, is bottom of the normal range, or top of the obstructed.. depending on age, symptoms and on history - middle aged (ex)smokers with symptoms likely to be deemed mildly obstructed.

See link



Hi Soulsaver yes I pay to see a specialist I’ve only seen him twice but he doesn’t explain things that well. He told me my FEV1 was 75.6% and post 79.9% Spirometry was normal but possibly mild obstruction. fev/fvc 75.32% post 80.30% .lung volume normal & diffusion capacity normal. he wants to check Spirometry in 1 yr and gave me 2 inhalers (symbicort & proair). I did not get to ask him much questions since he had an emergency call and had to leave the room, he said we talk later. I posted on here because I am new too all this I am in shock and scared and would like to get more info. Thanks for your reply and all your help.


Best wishes :)


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