I have shortness of breath and coughing. I also have allergies.
I had a PFT test. My doctor said there was nothing wrong. She said my symptoms are from allergies and/or GERD. She didn't want to any further testing or anything. She just said to take Singulair, pepcid, Zyrtec, and Astelin.
Here are my PFT results. What does this mean? Should I have further testing? She didn't really explain it to me.
"MVV is impaired at 45% of predicted. TLC is at 78%. ERV is reduced at 56%. A mild to borderline restrictive defect is present. Clinical and radiographic correlation is reccommended."
A restrictive defct on PFT means you have reduced lung capacity and cannot take as deep a breath as you should be able to. There are several things that can cause restrictive patterns on PFT. Your Dr. didn't level with you about your test results. I would take the PFT results to a pulmonologist for further evaluation. They may want to do a chest CT scan which provides valuable information on your lung status. This is not asthma, and probably not related to your allergies. I would get this checked out with a lung specialist.
My primary care doctor ordered the PFT. I also saw a nurse at the clinic.
After I got the report, I spoke with the technician who did the test. She said I can have symptoms even if it's a mild restriction. She also said I need a specialist and possible further testing.
I tried talking to my PCP and the nurse, but they didn't listen. I had a chest X-ray in February. They said I didn't need another one or a CT scan. They didn't want to refer me to a specialist either. The nurse even asked me if I was anxious. I think she thought it mostly in my head.
The report says clinical correlation is suggested. That means matching the test results with any possible clinical problems or symptoms you may have. So here's some conditions that could fit: Obesity is a common cause of restrictive defect on PFT because the large abdomen restricts the expansion of the lungs. Pulmonary fibrosis is scarring inside the lungs that restricts the elastic nature of the tissue that allows expansion. It is associated with connective tissue disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc. Pleurosclerosis is pleural scarring (the covering membrane of the lung) that prevents lung expansion. It is uncommon, and a result of chronic pleurisy or inflammation of pleura. If any of these situations fit, it gives you an idea of what may be causing this. Cough and shortness of breath are often associated with pulmonary fibrosis which can have serious outcomes. If you Dr won't give you a referral, I would try to see a different Dr who will. Or better yet, pin your Dr down for a discussion of why this is showing up. To do that, you need to be well informed about restrictive findings on PFT, what causes it, what the cirteria are and how bad your numbers are. Every effort should be made to find the reason for it so preventive measures/treatment can be instituted to prevent it from getting worse. It will show up on CT scan if fibrosis or pleurosclerosis. By the time fibrosis shows up on xray, it is severe. PS Pregnancy is a temporary cause of restrictive defects on PFT!
Last edited by ladybud; 05-12-2013 at 09:35 AM.
Reason: added PS
Thank you again for responding. I'm not obese or pregnant. I may have gained about 10 pounds. I got sick in November and have not gotten better. I keep coughing; and got short of breath about a month ago. I told the doctor that, but they blame it on allergies.
I don't know if my clinic has a lung doctor. I could try to see another doctor in the clinic for a referral. Or, maybe see my ENT and see what they say.
Sounds like a bad doctor, especially since allergies in November seem impossible unless you have a dust mite allergy .However your symptoms don't match that at all so don't waste anymore time and get back to your doctor or a better one
I have year round allergies, including environmental and dust.
I spoke with the RPFT again who did the test. She said the test is abnormal. I can still have allergies and GERD along with a restrictive defect. She said I need a lung specialist. She said she could try to talk to my doctor on my behalf.
I found a lung doctor who supposedly accepts financial assistance. Maybe I can see him. If not, I can always see my ENT.
Your ENT will not be able to deal with abnormal PFT's. You have a lung problem. The most he might do is order a chest CT, but you'll still need a lung specialist. I would skip the ENT and go to pulmonologist for this. Maybe the RT can get a referral for you.
The RPFT who did the test called my doctor. She said the doctor basically told her the same thing. The doctor said it was anxiety/allergies related. The doctor doesn't want to do anything else. I don't have insurance, so my options are limited.
I think I found a lung doctor who will see me. I need to call their office. I'm afraid they will dismiss my symptoms and the lung test.
I doubt a pulmonologist is going to dismiss your symptoms and test results. It's too bad your other Dr did, and you've had to wait so long to get this checked out. Please follow up with us when you see the lung specialist and you know what is going on.