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As the LAM cells build up and lung cysts form there is a deterioration in lung function, but the rate at which this occurs varies markedly between patients. A few patients still have moderately well-preserved lung function 20 years after being diagnosed with LAM, whilst others are less fortunate and deteriorate quite rapidly. Most patients are between these extremes. Looking at change in lung function over a period of time gives a good indication of the rate at which the disease is progressing in an individual patient.