What Are FEV1, FEV6 and FVC? Read Here What These Common Spirometry Values Mean

18.2.2021 Living with Asthma

Numbers, charts and funny abbreviations – reading your spirometry results can feel a little overwhelming in the beginning. What do the values actually mean? Read on to learn about four important values that you’ll get with our KAMU Spiro, a mobile spirometer designed for home use.

FEV1 – How Much You Exhaled During the First Second
When taking a spirometry test, you need to exhale as long as you can, at least 6 seconds. The exhale should also be as rapid and forceful as possible. The first second of the test is especially important, as the spirometer detects a lot of data during that time. FEV1 (Forced Expiratory Volume in the first second) is one of the most important spirometry values. It depicts the amount of air you are able to forcefully exhale from your lungs, during the first second of the test. It is given in litres.

FEV1/FEV6 – Comparing the First Second to the Whole Spirometry Test
As FEV1 is the amount of exhaled air during the first second, you probably already guessed what FEV6 means: the amount of air you exhaled during the whole six-second spirometry test. From these two values we get a ratio, which depicts how much of the air you exhaled during six seconds was exhaled during the first second. FEV1/FEV6 is given as a percentage, and the higher the result is, the better.

FVC – You Full Lung Capacity
FVC depicts your full lung capacity – the total amount of air you can forcefully exhale out of your lungs. Usually it’s quite close to the FEV6 value, which is why a 6-second spirometry test is sufficient when monitoring asthma at home. KAMU Spiro will estimate your FVC value based on the 6-second spirometry test. FVC is also given as liters.

PEF – How Fast You Can Exhale
Many asthmatics monitor their condition with a peak flow meter, which is designed to measure only the peak expiratory flow. PEF is also included in spirometry. It’s the greatest speed of your exhalation during the test, depicting how fast you can blow air out of your lungs. Even though getting the PEF result only takes under a second, the value is given in litres per minute.

You can get all these values quickly and easily with KAMU Spiro, a mobile spirometer designed for home use. It’s a hospital-grade device and using it is quick and simple: just turn on the spirometer and blow. KAMU Spiro will give you feedback, which helps you to learn a better blowing technique.

Please note that spirometry test results are always interpreted with personal reference values. What’s considered a normal result for you is affected by your age, sex and weight, to mention a few. Monitoring your lungs with KAMU, your results are always compared to your all time best result. This way you can notice a declining trend at an early stage and take action following your Asthma Action Plan before your symptoms get worse.

Read more about KAMU Asthma self-management service here.
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