Forced Vital Capacity
What Is Forced Vital Capacity (FVC)?
Spirometry tests /
pulmonary function tests can be used to measure a patient’s forced vital capacity or FVC,
which is the amount of air that an individual is able to forcibly exhale
from his / her lungs after taking the deepest breath they can. Spirometry
testing involves placement of a special mask over the patient’s
face. The patient is then asked to breath in and out—inhale and
exhale—as forcibly as they can, while measurements are collected.
Knowing an individual’s forced vital capacity as well as his / her
forced expiratory volume can be helpful in diagnosing various pulmonary conditions.
Why FVC Is Measured
Your doctor at Washington Township Medical Foundation may order a test
to measure your FVC in order to find out:
- Why you are experiencing pulmonary symptoms such as shortness of breath,
coughing, or wheezing / whistling sounds when you breathe
- How previously-diagnosed pulmonary conditions are improving or deteriorating
or how these conditions are being affected by treatment
- Whether you are a candidate for surgery, particularly lung surgery
- Whether you are able to begin an exercise regime
- How high your risk of heart disease may be
- How you responded in a clinical trial