Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
diffusion capacity
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diffusion capacity

If a patient had a diffusion capacity test, both with a single breath and a steady state after 10 minutes of breathing, and the results came out like this:

single breath - 29% of normal
steady state - 125% of normal

what would this suggest? What can cause the single breath test to be below normal, but the steady state test to be above normal?? Could being on chemotherapy affect this, because the patient also is being treated for breast cancer. Thanks!
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The answer is that one or even both of the values is wrong.  My advice is to have it repeated in a very high quality lab.  Chemotherapy could effect the diffusion capacity.  Given the possibility that the low value may be correct, is all the more reason to have the test repeated.  Also the patient should ask her doctor to evaluate her lungs further, if any one of the medicines she is on is known to cause lung disease, as is the case with bleomycin.
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