Main Menu

Related content

Pulmonary function tests are a broad range of tests that measures how well the lungs take in and exhale air and how efficiently they transfer oxygen into the blood. PFTs are performed on both inpatients and outpatients for diagnosis and management of respiratory conditions, pre-operative assessments, and disability evaluations.

  • Spirometry measures how well the lungs exhale. This information gathered during this test is useful in diagnosing certain types of lung disorders, but is most useful when assessing for obstructive lung disease (especially asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD.)
  • Lung volume measurement detects restrictive lung diseases. In this set of diseases, a person cannot inhale a normal volume of air. Restrictive lung diseases may be caused by inflammation or scarring of the lung tissue or by abnormalities of the muscles or skeleton of the chest wall.
  • Testing the diffusion capacity provides an estimate of how efficiently the lungs transfer oxygen from the air into the bloodstream.
  • Methacholine challenge is a special type of spirometry test which is helpful in assessing your airway hyperresponsiveness which is a common component of asthma.
  • Arterial blood gas sampling measures the blood oxygen, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide levels which can be useful in assessment of pulmonary disease and oxygen management.
  • Oximetry testing can measure how much oxygen is needed at rest, with exercise and during sleep to evaluate for home oxygen needs.
  • Respiratory management training is also available including: smoking cessation education, meter-dosed and dry powder inhaler technique, the proper use of spacers, peak flow monitoring, and airway clearance modalities (such as PEP therapy, flutter valve and postural drainage.)

Normal Values

  • Based upon the age, height, ethnicity, and sex of the person being tested
  • Normal results are expressed as a percentage. A value is usually considered abnormal if it is less than 80% of the predicted value for that person.

What abnormal results mean?

Abnormal results usually mean that a degree of chest or lung disease may be present.

Special Considerations

Cooperation from the patient performing the test is crucial in providing accurate results. A poor seal around the mouthpiece of the spirometer can give poor results that do no permit interpretation.

Call 876-4203 for more information.