Encyclopedia of Medical Immunology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Ian R. Mackay, Noel R. Rose, Dennis K. Ledford, Richard F. Lockey

Testing: DLCO

  • Daniel A. Searing
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-9194-1_509

Synonyms

Carbon monoxide uptake; Diffusing capacity

Definition

DLCO stands for diffusing capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide. It provides a measurement for carbon monoxide (CO) transfer from the airways, across the alveolar-capillary membrane, into the pulmonary capillaries, and across the red blood cell membrane where CO then binds to hemoglobin (Hegewald and Crapo 2010).

Background

Conditions associated with an abnormal DLCO include interstitial lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pulmonary vascular disease (see Table 1). The test is typically performed in subjects using an office spirometer, a gas analyzer, and a source of test gas. The most common technique utilized is a single-breath maneuver where the subject inhales rapidly to total lung capacity (TLC) using only minimal effort and then holds their breath for approximately 10 seconds (MacIntyre et al. 2005).
Testing: DLCO, Table 1

Conditions associated with abnormal DLCO

Physiological

Pathological

Reduc...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. American Thoracic Society. Lung function testing: selection of reference values and interpretive strategies. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1991;144(5):1202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Crapo RO, Jensen RL, Wanger JS. Single-breath carbon monoxide diffusing capacity. Clin Chest Med. 2001;22(4):637.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Enright PL. Diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide. In: UpToDate, Basow, DS (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham, MA, 2012 http://www.uptodate.com/help/manual/citing
  4. Hegewald MJ, Crapo RO. Pulmonary function testing. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus VC, Martin TR, King Jr TE, Schraufnagel DE, Murray JF, Nadel JA, editors. Murray and Nadel’s textbook of respiratory medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2010. p. 532–7.Google Scholar
  5. MacIntyre N, Crapo RO, Viegi G, Johnson DC, van der Grinten CPM, Brusasco V, et al. Standardisation of the single-breath determination of carbon monoxide uptake in the lung. Eur Respir J. 2005;26:720–35.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Pellegrino R, Viegi G, Brusasco V, Crapo RO, Burgos F, Casaburi R, et al. Interpretive strategies for lung function tests. Eur Respir J. 2005;26:948–68.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of PediatricsNational Jewish Health University of ColoradoDenverUSA