Normal values for FEV1 and FVC suggest a disturbance in respiratory control. A decrease in FEV1/FVC indicates airflow obstruction, whereas a reduction in both FEV1 and FVC and maintenance of FEV1/FVC suggest restrictive lung disease.
Respiratory failure is uncommon in obstructive diseases when FEV1 is >1 L and in restrictive diseases when FVC is >1 L.
For more on the workup of respiratory failure, read here.
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Cite this: Ata Murat Kaynar. Fast Five Quiz: Are You Prepared to Confront Respiratory Failure? - Medscape - Nov 16, 2015.