British Lung Foundation

Spirometry results seem like gobblededook to me !

After an X-ray & CTscan I have been diagnosed with "Centrilobular emphysema and mild subpleural honeycombing"

My spirometry test results:

FEV-1 of 3.41 (86% predicted),

FVC of 4.72 (96%) and a ratio of 71.

DLCO was 53%, KCO was 63% with a residual volume of 93% relating to TLC.

TLC was 101%.

I have been told these are good results, so why do I feel so awful ?

Can anyone please shed some light on what is happening to me.

9 Replies

They are good results, on FEV1 and FVC but the DLCO is I think what can have an affect on how well we do the gas exchange.

I believe, emphysema patients with a reasonably good FEV1 /FVC ratio experience the difficulty because the 50% reduction in DLCO or thereabouts.

I'm sure your consultant will be able to explain these results better to you than I can.

Do ask your GP or consultant for a referral to a pulmonary rehabilitation course, its too quick and easy to lose further mobility and activity levels without the understanding on how to manage our sumptoms and condition.

Regular exercise is one very major part of helping our symptoms the other of course is stopping smoking. Both these along with taking medicine as prescribed (if this is not helping go back to the doc or consultant to communicate this so that another medicine can be prescribed to you).

Highly recommend the PR course it will give you the tools you need to help yourself manage your symptoms and lung condition, all this in your favour, long and short term.

For the DCO, KCO and TLC readings you will be able to find more on this with further web search.

For the spirometry calculator go here:

Hope you are feeling better real soon.


Thanks for the reply Zoee.

Please see my answer to alanjudy, and feel free to comment.


Google it all! I did for some of my dads info and it helped big time. Not the best way of finding out but until you can speak to your GP have a go!


Thanks for the advice Tanyamarie, maybe I should just change my username to "Stupid & Confused".


you can't I took that already lol! Honestly I was sat here on the night my dads specialist said he was dying and nothing could be done for him in tears. I didn't understand much and was totally confused. I gogles some stats etc and found alot of the answers. I couldn't believe it. Hope you didn't think I was being funny......I am perfectly genuine in trying to help.


The results are good. I have bronchiectasis ant thanks to regular exercise and medication mine are normal. However my consultant said that is only 1 part of the picture. My lungs are not normal on a CT scan and don't sound normal when he listens to them. Ask your GP and/or consultant questions. If need be write them down so you don't forget them.



Thanks for the reply Alanjudy.

Although I'm still as confused as ever.

Please read my life story below:

My X-ray & CT scan was done in February/March(diagnosis as previous - smoking related), but I couldn't get to see anyone from the hospital until July. As i thought this was too long to wait I got an earlier appointment at a different hospital, big mIstake.

I've seen them twice, but they hadn't arranged for the results for the X-ray/CT scan to be tranferred over. End result being, they couldn't comment as they hadn't viewed the data.

Anyway, they started me on a couple of different inhalers - they assured me this would normally be the treatment anyway.

I received a phone call from the hospital yesterday informing me that noe they've actually viewed the X-ray & CT scan they want to see me again for blood tests & to start me on steroid tablets !

Apparently my diagnosis is still the onset of emphysema, but now they don't know whats caused the other lung condition - as apposed to it being smoking related. This is now the best treatment for me.

I don't know much, but if they're saying I need steroid tablets "as these are a stronger dose than I get from the inhaler".

Something's going on !!! Or am I being paranoid.

I now feel as I am back to square one, and haven't got a clue whats happening !!!

Sorry for the drawn out story !!!


It took me over a 18 months to sort out medicines etc. that actually worked for me. I have had so many blood tests! I also had oral steroids for some time before just going onto inhaled steroids. The maximum dose of inhaled steroids that is reccomended is 1.8mg, I take 2.4mg. The tablets start at 2.5mg and you could be given upto 50mg for a short time.

At least it seems they looked at everything and want to investigate further.

Patience is needed as no-one's lung condition has read the text book. We are all different and need different treatment. Let me know how you get on and I hope you have given up smoking.



Hi Judith,

Thanks for that, I guess I'm just a bit fed up with it all at the moment !

I gave up smoking about 6 weeks ago.

I still miss a good fag, I actually enjoyed smoking.

Inhalers & nicotine patches just don't do it for me I'm afraid, I feel I need some sort of vice or I'm missing out on all the fun in the world !!!

I'll let you know how I get on at the hospital, when I eventually get an appointment.

Take care



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