Forced Expiratory Volume and Forced Vital Capacity
Forced expiratory volume (FEV) measures how much air a person can exhale during a forced breath. The amount of air exhaled may be measured during the first (FEV1), second (FEV2), and/or third seconds (FEV3) of the forced breath.
Forced vital capacity (FVC) is the total amount of air exhaled during the FEV test.
Forced expiratory volume and forced vital capacity are lung function tests that are measured during spirometry. Forced expiratory volume is the most important measurement of lung function. It is used to:
- Diagnose obstructive lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A person who has asthma or COPD has a lower FEV1 result than a healthy person.
- See how well medicines used to improve breathing are working.
- Check if lung disease is getting worse. Decreases in the FEV1 value may mean the lung disease is getting worse.
Current as of:
November 14, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine
Current as of: November 14, 2022
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine