What is the difference between diffusing capacity of lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO) and transfer coefficient of the lung for carbon monoxide (KCO) in pulmonary function testing?

Updated: May 14, 2020
  • Author: Kevin McCarthy, RPFT; Chief Editor: Nader Kamangar, MD, FACP, FCCP, FCCM  more...
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Answer

Answer

Transfer factor of the lung for carbon monoxide (TLCO, mmol/min/kilopascal, commonly used in Europe); DLCO, diffusing capacity of lung for carbon monoxide (DL, mL/min/mmHg); transfer coefficient of the lung for carbon monoxide (KCO); and alveolar volume (VA, L), which is the single-breath estimate of the TLC determined by the dilution of the tracer gas concentration. The term KCO should be used instead of the term DLCO/VA, which incorrectly implies that the DLCO is being corrected for lung volume.


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