4 doctors weighed in:

I have emphysema. My FEV is -51. What does this mean? My Doctor says it is very bad.

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bennett Werner
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Mis-stated

FEV is the amount of air you can force out during expiration.
The usual measurement is FEV1 - the amount of air you can force out in 1 second. Both numbers are always positive - it can't be negative. I suspect you may mean that your FEV1 is 51% of predicted. That is significant. I urge you to continue all treatments prescribed, maintain follow up with your lung specialist, and join a rehab group.

In brief: Mis-stated

FEV is the amount of air you can force out during expiration.
The usual measurement is FEV1 - the amount of air you can force out in 1 second. Both numbers are always positive - it can't be negative. I suspect you may mean that your FEV1 is 51% of predicted. That is significant. I urge you to continue all treatments prescribed, maintain follow up with your lung specialist, and join a rehab group.
Thank
Dr. Olav Jaren
Neurology
2 doctors agree

In brief: FEV 1

The FEV1 is the amount of air you exhale in the first second of exhalation, after a full inhalation.
A typical measurement is the FEV1/FVC ration. It is normally listed as a percent. This may be what your doctor means. First it's important to determine if it is correct. Was it measured or calculated? People do feel short of breath with a number like this. Does walking bother you?

In brief: FEV 1

The FEV1 is the amount of air you exhale in the first second of exhalation, after a full inhalation.
A typical measurement is the FEV1/FVC ration. It is normally listed as a percent. This may be what your doctor means. First it's important to determine if it is correct. Was it measured or calculated? People do feel short of breath with a number like this. Does walking bother you?
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Jack Shapiro
Better test is to try to blow out a lighter match 6 inches from you lips without pursing the lips. Means FEV-1/FEV-3 under 40%. Also a lot cheaper than paying for a fancy number
Dr. Jack Shapiro
Internal Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Stop smoking!

Normal FEV-1 is 75% or more.
FEV-1 under 50% not terrible! Be sure to get flu shot yearly and extended pneumonia immunization.Maximum breathing capacity is a better test of indurance and work capacity. These tests are not all that accurate or reproducible. Do you have episodes of wheezing? When and how often. Do particular environments cause wheezing? Cats? Dog? particular dust or fumes?

In brief: Stop smoking!

Normal FEV-1 is 75% or more.
FEV-1 under 50% not terrible! Be sure to get flu shot yearly and extended pneumonia immunization.Maximum breathing capacity is a better test of indurance and work capacity. These tests are not all that accurate or reproducible. Do you have episodes of wheezing? When and how often. Do particular environments cause wheezing? Cats? Dog? particular dust or fumes?
Thank
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