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Pulmonary Fibrosis

Reduced DLCO - my reading is 5, sometimes 8.



Can you please explain to me how I can still move around most of the day with this much Carbon Dioxide in my lungs not escaping? A friend just had transplanted lungs and his dlco was 25. I don`t know how low my dlco can go and me still be able to function....please answer for me. I`ve had Pulm.Fibrosis for six years now...and I know I`m very lucky with that diagnosis to be able to be active anyway! I spend my days helping every PF patient I hear about. I was given two-three yrs life expectancy, but I`m still here six years later, one doc said it is IPF, another said it isn`t but he still doesn`t know what caused mine after bx. I do have a lot of bad days, too tired for anything, low appetite, but when I do have a little energy I spend it till it is all gone to just help one more patient.

Thank you...

Thank you for your help in clearing this up for me:)


The DLCO (diffusing capacity) roughly correlates with the severity of pulmonary fibrosis. Six years is a long time to live with IPF (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) and that does raise the question of whether it could be another form of interstitial lung disease other than IPF. The common tests that are used to monitor lung function in patients with pulmonary fibrosis include the FVC (forced vital capacity), DLCO (diffusing capacity), and oxygen saturation during a 6-minute walk test. The rate of decline in any of these tests is more important than the absolute value of any given test.

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Response by:

James N Allen, Jr, MD James N Allen, Jr, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University