The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
MEMum presents the second article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Pulmonary test results - anyone knows how to read it ?

Discussion in 'Autonomic, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory' started by Dechi, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    i’ve had a spirometry done last december. I just got them and haven’t spoken to my doc yet, so I am unsure whether there is a problem or not.

    Does anybody know how to interpret this ? @Gingergrrl I know you were interested in those.

    [​IMG]

    I didn’t take my asthma meds 48 hours prior, but I didn’t need them anyways. My asthma is occasional, not constant. Being out of breath is an everyday thing, and not related to asthma. It’s a different kind, which I hope shows on these resukts that I can’t interpret myself.

    I wasn’t tested post meds, but it wouldn’t have made a difference, I didn’t have asthma that day.
     
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  2. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    I am on-line and just saw you post this and thanks for remembering me! I have a very basic understanding re: how to interpret but please don't take as medical advise vs. what your pulmonologist (or other doctor) might say.

    The "FVC" means "forced vital capacity" and yours is 98% which is absolutely amazing. Mine ranged from 66% to 72% with my absolute best effort and I was not able to inhale a full breath. They consider 80% to be the minimum passing score, which was unattainable for me, and after doing the basic spirometry tests (I never completed a full PFT test with lung volumes like you did b/c I was incapable), I was in pain for days as if someone had physically beaten me in the chest. On all tests, I showed a pulmonary restriction but the inside of my lungs are clear so it was considered to be b/c of weak muscle strength which we later learned was due to auto-antibodies.

    Following a year of high dose IVIG, I finally "passed" a basic spirometry test with an FVC score of 84%. While this is still not great, I was thrilled with it. And I suspect if I did the test again now (approx six months later) my score might even be higher. I still show "pulmonary restriction" even with the 84% but it is not quite as extreme as before. The little chart/graph shows the "flow volume loop" and from my basic understanding, yours is totally normal both for inhaling and exhaling and you do not show a pulmonary restriction or obstruction.

    It looks like you were able to inhale a deep enough breath to exhale to the number "6" vs. for me, with my absolute best effort, I could only exhale to around a "2" or maybe "2.5".

    I do not know all the nuances of interpreting this test but there are many websites that can help you to interpret it. I knew more about it a few years ago but did not retain all of the details. To me, yours looks good.
     
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  3. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    Thank you @Gingergrrl ! I read online and I understood that the second value was the most important (mine is 80%, which would mean mild COPD) in one report, and on another one it said that if your FEV1/FVC was below 70%, you had a definite CPOD, and mine is 63%. Also if you look at the last set of figures in the first colum, they’re all pretty low. Don’t know what it means though.

    Also the lung values being so high is abnormal, I think. I am deconditioned from not moving enough, I have asthma and shortness of breath so why would my lung volume be so high ? Is it because I can’t bring enough air with a normal volume so I expand more to get more oxygen ? My 2 day CPET test has shown respiratory problems so I figure this will show something as well.

    I think if you compare with someone as severe as you I look good, but there might be something there still. I’ll update when I find out.
     
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  4. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    I apologize and my eyes focus on the numbers that relate to pulmonary restriction (what I have) vs. obstruction (which I do not have). Both COPD and asthma are obstructions. I hope I did not give any misinformation and please let us know what your doctor says.
     
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  5. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    Don’t apologize ! :)

    You’re trying to help and you may be right. What you said all made sense.

    I’m only making assumptions here. More to come.
     
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  6. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    I read some more and I believe I may have obstructive pulmonary defect, as shown on this chart (figure C). This is not related to me but some random explanation I found on the internet.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  7. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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  8. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    Excellent idea!
     
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  9. Pen2

    Pen2 Support, Good Medicine.

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    Hi @Dechi , actually it looks like you have some restrictive pulmonary disease. That means for some reason, usually something with anatomy of your ribs, diaghram, or spinal stenosis, something like that.

    Something prevents you from filling your lungs all the way when you breath. Your test doesn't look that bad though.

    I never worked in a pulmonary lab so I'm pretty limited. In fact, one picture shows obstructive, the other shows restrictive.

    Obstructive means that air is building in your lungs, your not getting it all out when you exhale.
    There is something blocking it. Very common to see with smokers.

    Neither one looks that bad to me. Why did you have the test done? That would help me.

    You can have both restrictive and obstructive too. Did the DR talk to you about it yet. I'm really curious now. :D

    Hope I helped at least a little,

    Pen2
     
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  10. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    Thank so very much @Pen2 !

    I had the test done because lately I’m having more problems breathing and I can hear a wheezing sound when inhaling, sometimes. I also have asthma, so I am used to the wheezing sound when exhaling, but this inhaling problem was new. I don’t know if it’s due to ME or a comorbid factor but I can be really out of breath for not doing much.

    Also I had a lung x-ray a few years ago that found evidence of CPOD that nobody had ever paid attention to or done anything about. And my 2 day CPET test showed ventilatory inefficiency (impaired ventilation during exertion to sufficiently eliminate carbon dioxide), so I wanted to know more.

    You talk about two pictures, but there is only one from my test results (the one in my initial post, at the top). The other ones, in my second post, I found on the internet and thought it looked like mine (picture C).

    So from the picture on top from my results, it would be restrictive disease you think ?

    I will certainly update and let you know when I talk to my doctor. Soon I hope.

    Have a great day !
     
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  11. Pen2

    Pen2 Support, Good Medicine.

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    @Dechi I just realized, that the top photo is the comparison. I do have mush brain.:oops::thumbdown:

    Anyways, see how the top one the line goes kind of strait down? You're is going out? That's you exhaling and pushing your air out. That looks more obstructive.

    If you want to share it's up to you, you can tell me why you had to have the test.
    Totally up to you. Your welcome to pm me too.

    :) Pen2
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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  12. Pen2

    Pen2 Support, Good Medicine.

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    Asthma and COPD would show obstructive. I hope they gave you something to help you breath better.

    A broncho dialator, corticosteroids are the usual treatment. I think it could certainly get worse having ME. We are weaker.
     
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  13. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    @Pen2 We replied at the same time, lol !

    Look above, I explained why I took the test. Thank you so much again for your help !
     
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  14. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    @Pen2 They didn’t give me anything, but I do have medicine for my asthma. The thing is, when I did this test, I wasn’t having an asthma attack and didn’t need my medicine. I don’t take it everyday, maybe once a month, as needed.

    I feel like I have two different problems oN top of the other : asthma, which I control with medicine, and this other one, which I don’t know what it is, that isn’t controlled at all and is giving me another type of breathing problems. It’s really a strange feeling.

    Have you worked in that field, or maybe you still do ?
     
  15. Pen2

    Pen2 Support, Good Medicine.

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    1. Hey @Gingergrrl , you learned some pulmonary function reading! You even got technical, I was trying to keep it simple. Your so smart!
    Sorry you have restricted disease, not much They can do to help that except
    CPAP or BIPAP. I bet you know about these too.:)

    Pen2
     
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  16. Pen2

    Pen2 Support, Good Medicine.

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    I did work as a Respirator Therapist for 22years until ME hit too bad and I stopped working in 2014. I used to live reading pulmonary function tests but I didn't work in a lab. I did however work with alot of asthmatics and COPDers.

    So I know about medications, some are maintenance drugs and some you just take as needed.

    So if you were given a corticosteroid, you have to take it everyday regularly to build it up in your system. It helps prevent breathing issues and asthma attacks.

    The bronchodialators, are when you have an asthma or breathing problem come on. They act fast. Corticosteroids you never take more than twice a day, examples: flovent, serevent. There are so many now. Look up what you have. Don't take them if there expired.

    Wishing you the best,

    Pen2
     
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  17. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    @Pen2 I have both à bronchodilator and corticosteroid but they have no impact on this other weird condition. Maybe it’s just ME making everything worse...
     
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  18. Pen2

    Pen2 Support, Good Medicine.

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    I know what you mean. ME gets to me too. I wonder how many of us struggle with breathing on our bad days.

    Did you take the corticosteroid every day? It won't help unless you do. Plus it would take a couple weeks to start working.

    You could be right, maybe just rest? I hope you feel better.

    Sending hugs,
    Pen2
     
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  19. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    I take it everyday for a few weeks when I have asthma problems. Then when it’s all cleared, I stop. So maybe 3-4 times a year I will take it for 10 days straight, twice a day. That’s what I was taught, but I never really had a specialist follow me. Just different doctors not working together, that I saw when I had a cold, to get x-rays and a prescription if necessary.

    But as I said, even when I take it regularly for a while, it makes no difference whatsoever in my shortness of breath, as if there is no relation between the two.

    Maybe that’s not the right way to do it ?
     
  20. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @Pen2 In my case, we believe my pulmonary restriction was due to muscle weakness caused by autoantibodies since it has improved so much with high dose IVIG and Rituximab. CPAP would not have helped my case.

    I don't want to go off topic in Dechi's thread and (from my very limited knowledge!) it looked like she had posted some pics of flow volume curves/loops from internet (that were not hers) but her scores showed no restriction from the FVC and her flow volume curve.

    Are there other numbers that pertain to restriction in case I am totally misunderstanding? I'd love to understand this all better!
     
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