Spirometry results - help please! - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation
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Spirometry results - help please!


Can anyone help me interpret these spirometry results please?

FVC - 93% of predicted

FEV1 - 90% of predicted

FEV1/FVC - 97% of predicted

FEF25-75% - 79% of predicted

Are any of these a cause for concern with COPD? The last one looks especially low, and my GP said he would have expected higher from someone my age.

Also, can anyone tell me what kind of results might be consistent with early stage, mild onset of COPD?


17 Replies

Another question I had - if you have totally healthy lungs and have never smoked, is it possible to get over 100% of predicted? ie, how high can you theoretically go? 110%? 120%? 150%?

And if so, does that not mean that you could still get close to 100% and have lungs that are obstructed in some way?


Hi from these results it doesn't look like you have copd. What does your doctor say? If your FEV1 is 90% or more then this is usually considered normal.

Yes it is possible to have over 100%. It is common for trained singers, athletes etc. to have higher than 100% but I wouldn't think as high as 150%. x


Ah right, so the 90% I got means I'm borderline COPD then?

My asthma nurse said it was normal, but I'm a daily cyclist and keen runner with ongoing breathing problems for 3 months now.

Not blowing my own horn here, but I'm a bit of an exercise freak, so I'm wondering if these measurements are actually suggestive of obstruction because they should be higher.


If your nurse said it was normal then that's what she means. If it was borderline copd then she would have said that.

It all depends on the criteria which is used which appears to be different at times. Some medical professionals say 90% and over is just a variation of the norm, whilst some say between 80 and 90% is normal and a diagnosis of copd is given to those under 80%.

Maybe you have asthma - have you been tested for that? Are you a smoker an ex and how old are you? x


Just turned 35 years old. Have smoked in the past, but more socially, rather than consistently. Usually smoke around 10 cigarettes/year (maybe a little more....), but determined to quit even the social smoking now.

But as I say, just wondering if it's possible to still have COPD with those results, on the basis that being physically active means my results should actually be higher. Is that possible?


The doctor told you that you don't have copd. Why not believe them instead of tying yourself in knots!

There is really nothing more I can say on this and I think you need to make an appointment with your doctor/nurse and get further clarification. x


Sorry, I'm really confused about these measurements. What would a totally normal FEV1 look like? Would it have to be 100%?


People without copd would vary between 90-100%. Anything between these ranges is considered normal. x

1 like

Tirez.Spirometry is the gold standard test for diagnosing copd,you told us of these results 2 months ago when you were diagnosed as not having copd.perhaps it would be best to return to your Gp and discuss the figures with him/her and they can give you the actual figures which would define a patient with copd and that may put your mind at ease....regards Skis


To be honest, I suspect you're worrying/obsessing about nothing. On the basis you're an exercise freak, you're expecting your results to exceed what would be excellent results for anyone else, whereas I'm not sure that's necessarily the case. Are you by nature an anxious person, tirez? Anxiety does affect breathing, and once you get a health-related anxiety in your head it's often hard to see wood for trees (I know - been there, done that myself.) Why not phone the BLF helpline 03000 030 555 and chat things over with one of their respiratory nurses? They might be able to help you get things in perspective. I hope this doesn't sound patronising.


Hi my FEV was 110% predicted when last tested, however my dlco (gas exchange) is 35% expected and my ct scan confirms severe emphysema and I am constantly sob and tired,

fev doesn't mean a lot to people who do not have an obstructive condition , there are no simple hard or fast rules, but if like me you have a ct scan and it confirms that you have lost 60% of your lungs it does not make any difference to have good results, I still cannot extract enough oxygen no matter how good my FEV results are. and yes coincidentally I used to be a singer(professionally)


Hello I'm foxy79

Tirez best person can explain is your consultant or the person who does the test if you leave without your answer see your GP best person or reds nurse anyone of them can explain take care



Please please swap me your lungs for mine, I would love to be worrying about you results instead of the average 24% of lung capacity which I currently enjoy?!?!


Hi Tirez, if its any help to you, i found a site where you can get more information about the spirometry levels.


maybe this would help you in some way.

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I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be condescending by posting my results, but as I'm still getting symptoms and I don't know if the spirometry results demonstrate hard and fast conclusions, I was starting to wonder whether my readings were still sub-par.

Thank you all for your input and advice.


There is no one size fits all as far as results are concerned. I have exceptionally good spirometry results, way, way above average (well above 100%) and frequently better than the consultants and doctors who treat me … but I still have symptoms related to my conditions which give cause for concern.


I think that is what worries me...that I could have a really good spirometry result and yet still end up with a diagnosis of chronic bronchitis.


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