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PFT test showed mild COPD. Had bronchitis then. Dry cough normal? Do the test again?

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I had a PFT test that showed i have MILD COPD; however, I took the test while I was still suffering from Bronchitis. The doctor ordered the test and I (like a dummy) said sure, let's do it today. I had originally been prescribed Z-Pak 250 MG (had XXXXXXX Pflem) and that didn't work. That is why I went to the pulm. doctor. I received a stronger antibiotics and they worked fine. But when I was there at the Dr's office gettinf that Stronger anitbiotics he ordered the PFT test and I took it then. I think I should have waited until i was over the bout of acute bronchitis. It took about 2.5 - 3 weeks and now I feel better. I have a nagging dry cough (mild but annoying). Could the PFt test be wrong giving that I had Bronchitis already?? I plan on re-doing the test once my cough dissipates and I feel a little bettter....Also, it s it normal to have a dry cough for a few weeks after Bronhitis. The research I discovered seems to indicate that this is normal...
Posted Sun, 22 Apr 2012 in X-ray, Lab tests and Scans
 
 
Answered by Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 3 hours later
Hi,

Thanks for posting the query. I have seen the report too.

After going through your query and the report, I would like to comment the following:

1. The diagnosis of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is confirmed on spirometry but is diagnosed by correlating it with clinical history.

2. The clinical history of significance is:
A. history of smoking
B. history of previous breathlessness or cough more in the winter months
C. history of wheezing sounds during attack of breathlessness
D. previous history of respiratory infections

3. PFT (Pulmonary Function Test) is usually not done during active respiratory infection, the reasons being:
a. Hyper responsiveness of airways is expected in acute bronchitis that might interfere with diagnosis of asthma.
b. Due to presence of cough the effort might not be optimal resulting in suboptimal flow volume loops on PFT.

4. However airway obstruction of COPD is usually not affected by respiratory infections.

5. It will help if after the episode has subsided, you get your PFT done.

6. If a diagnosis of mild COPD was made then, you must have been prescribed an inhaler or bronchodilator.

6. Normally the episode of acute bronchitis lasts for 2 to 3 weeks. However if it lasts beyond that or you are getting such repeated episodes, you need to get yourself investigated.

I hope I have answered your query. Please accept my answer if you have no follow up queries. I will be glad to answer any follow up queries.

Wish you good health.

Take care.

Regards

Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra
MBBS MD DNB
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: PFT test showed mild COPD. Had bronchitis then. Dry cough normal? Do the test again? 3 hours later
Thank you for your answer. I am thankful. I would think that the PFT test would be done after the Bronchitis had cleared up, just to be on the safe side and that this would possibly provide an lowered "score". My research has indicated that looking at my numbers they are so close to being normal, Bronchitis may have cause some of those numbers to drop a bit. I informed the Dr. that I had Bronchitis before but not in the same year. I knew I had bronchitis and Really needed the stronger anitibitotic. I am not a tobacco smoker and I am fit and work out. Assuming that I am wrong, how long can someone expect to live with Mild COPD and can it be stopped. Everything I read indicates that mild can be stopped if caught earlier and some of the breathing can be restored. Is this true? And, is it entirely possible that the PFT test was a bit premature?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 50 minutes later
Hi,

Thanks for the follow up.

Based on your query I would like to comment the following:

1. Mild Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a clinical diagnosis confirmed on pulmonary function tests (PFTs).

2. A PFT after the episode of bronchitis has cleared will depict your true baseline picture.

3. Considering you are not a tobacco smoker and have mentioned no other such occupational exposure & your symptoms have subsided, your diagnosis of COPD needs to be confirmed.

4. By definition, any grade of COPD is irreversible; hence I suggest that the diagnosis be reconfirmed. Normally after at the age of 25, your lung functions begin to decline. In COPD patients, this decline is faster. With inhaled medications this decline can be slowed.

5. If your Xrays and scans were normal and you are having no symptoms at present and you are a non smoker, I strongly feel that your diagnosis of COPD should be reconsidered.

6. You should also consider the option of getting yearly flu shots and 5 yearly pneumococcal vaccine shots in consultation with your physician to decrease the risk of repeated respiratory infections in the near future.

7. I won't suggest that the PFT was entirely premature, since bronchial hyper-responsiveness is diagnosed on PFT during such episodes of acute bronchitis & if present, can be controlled by inhalers.

I hope I have answered your query. Please accept my answer if you have no follow up queries. I will be glad to answer any follow up queries.

Wish you good health.

Take care.

Regards

Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra
MBBS MD DNB
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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