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How can I improve my test results?

After initial diagnosis of severe emphysema based on CT scan only (radiology and pulmonologist both agreed) I was finally able to take pulmonary testing. Below are the results.

I know the look better than expected but their are two areas of concern:

The air trapping and the hyperventilation numbers – how the dickens do I improve these???? Please no “you can not answer”s.

When diagnosed with severe, I started cardio (walking at a mile a day) now doing three miles at a very brisk pace every day. Yesterday due to heat and humidity I walked 2 1/2 briskly but added another 4 miles at a moderate to slow pace in the shade. Will try to get on more frequently -need the emotional support regardless of numbers.

Pulmonary function test report
Date of testing: May 25, 2018
Reason for testing: A patient with emphysema.

The patient has mild obstruction with no significant post-bronchodilator response. The patient’s pre-bronchodilator FEV1 to forced vital capacity ratio is 62% (68% on original paper – this is from electronic patient files) The patient has a normal pre-bronchodilator FEV1 of 2.68 liters. 90% of predicted. The patient has an increased total lung capacity of 9.30 liters, 144% of predicted, consistent with lung hyperinflation. The patient has an increased residual volume of 4.98 liters, 200% of predicted consistent with air-trapping. The patient has a normal diffusing capacity of 97% of predicted. Impression: mild obstruction with no significant post-bronchodilator response. Increased total lung capacity consistent with lung hyperinflation. Increased residual volume consistent with air-trapping. Normal diffusion capacity.

Community Answers
  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    11 months ago

    Hi Brucifer and thanks for your post. I understand you are not looking for any ‘you cannot’ answers. Remember too, that we are unable to provide medical advice or diagnostics over the internet (for your own safety). Having said that, your PFT results may not improve per se, however, the information you provide about your cardio capabilities and physical stamina should guide you to how you feel and how you’re doing. Some doctors feel the numerical results assist with the diagnosis and staging but ‘listening to the patient’ helps to gauge how (s)he’s actually doing! As far as your initial inquiry, obstruction is that part of the COPD condition that results in ‘air trapping’. Pursed lip breathing as well as adjuncts (like the Aerobika-type device) can help in that regard. I hope this brief answer is of some help to you. All the best, Leon (site moderator)

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