What is the role of lung function testing in the evaluation of systemic sclerosis (SSc)?

Updated: Nov 11, 2020
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Lung function tests reveal ventilation-perfusion changes, including the following:

  • Reduced carbon monoxide diffusion capacity

  • A reduced partial pressure of oxygen, with a normal or low partial pressure of carbon dioxide

  • Restrictive ventilatory defect, with reductions in pulmonary compliance, vital capacity, and total lung capacity

  • Decreased diffusion capacity of carbon monoxide transfer factor (DLCO) levels, which is a measure of diffusion capacity

The gas transfer measurement (KCO), adjusted for alveolar volume, is also reduced.


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