Spirometry is an essential test that is performed in order to help diagnose COPD. Spirometry is also used to grade the severity of COPD and to monitor an individual’s response to treatment.

In order to confirm a diagnosis of COPD it is essential to demonstrate the presence of airflow obstruction using spirometry.
Airflow obstruction is defined as a reduced FEV1/FVC ratio less than 70%. The FVC is 80% or greater.

Predicted normal values of FEV1 and FVC depend on an individual’s:

These ‘normal’ values have not been validated in the elderly, or the Black and Asian population; this could lead to under-diagnosis in these populations. A calculator to compare spirometry with normal values can be found at:


FEV1 should be performed annually.

Patients can be referred for Open Access Spirometry at Russells Hall Hospital

(Open access referral form for spirometry)

Performing Spirometry

Spirometry must only be performed by somebody who has undertaken an appropriate training course:

Interpretation of Spirometry
It is the responsibility of a clinician who has undertaken appropriate training to interpret spirometry results.

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