Can anyone tell me what my lung contr... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation
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Can anyone tell me what my lung contrasting lung function scores indicate?


I have had COPD for about 8 years. I had a peak flow meter reading for my COPD in June, which read 31%. I went for another lung function test a few weeks ago at the asma clinic, but got very contrasting results. I had the best of 3 test, for which my first attempt was 31%, the second, 51% and the third was again 31%. Can anyone tell me what this indicates, please - as I am aware that COPD is irreversible and cannot get any better and the goal is to try to stop its progression?

Many thanks

5 Replies

I dont think it was a peak flow as that is not read in %. So im not sure what test you had done. But as the 31% level was reached again i would think you are prity stable with regards to what ever they were measuring.

Each test is measuring different things, you need to speak with respiratory consultant concerning these. Although a respiratory nurse will be able to indicate the peak flow result and also the spirometry result but the full lung function test results is a specialist area, and the specialist will take into account the results of all tests.

In addition you may want to phone the helpline for some basic information regarding this, and if you have a copy of your spirometry test you can check these on the spiro calculation page.

A peak flow meter is used for measuring asthma not copd. And you say you had these tests at the asthma clinic. You do sound stable but if you definitely have copd you should ask for a full lung function test. And peak flow tests DO have a percentage, the percentage being a percentage of what you should achieve for your height, gender and age - if you are well. Exactly the same principle as having a spirometry test. If you have a test on a peak flow metre you wont normally be told the percentage. But it appears on your results if you have a full lung function test. Too many doctors treat asthma and copd as the same thing. The treatments are sometimes similar but there are specific differences too so have a chat with your GP.

Thanks for your reply everyone - the results were strange, I realise. I guess the most realistic approach is that whilst COPD cannot/will not improve, the main goal is to try to slow its progression, really

They take the best of your 3 blows.

Best discuss it with the nurse, but you could ask for a copy of the results from your records and come back here with the actual data.

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