Pulmonary Function Lab

Pulmonary function tests are breathing tests used to evaluate respiratory symptoms such as dyspnea, cough and wheezing. They are also used to determine preoperative risk and for diagnostic purposes for common diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The staff is comprised of registered Respiratory Therapists who are board certified or registered in pulmonary function testing for geriatric patients, adults and children.

Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs) is a generic term used to indicate a series of tests. PFTs may include spirometry, diffusion capacity (DLCO) and lung volumes (plethysmography). These studies may collectively be referred to as a "complete pulmonary function test".

Common tests performed are:

• Spirometry - is the most commonly used lung function screening study. The test can be done in an outpatient clinic setting, emergency room or at the patients bedside. It can be done before and after a bronchodilator to show response to medication. Values measured include FVC, FEV1, FEV1/FVC, FEF25-75 and PEF.

• Methacholine Challenge - is a breathing test used to assist the physician in the diagnosis of asthma.

• Diffusion Capacity (DLCO) - measures how efficiently the lungs transfer oxygen into the bloodstream.

• Lung Volumes (Plethysmography) - can measure the total volume of air in the chest. For this test, the patient is placed in a sitting position in a transparent booth and instructed to breath through a mouthpiece while pressure and airflow measurements are collected.

The Methacholine Challenge, Diffusion Capacity and Lung Volumes are performed in the PFT Lab. All tests are read by pulmonary physicians.

The PFT Lab is located on the second floor of the Heart and Lung Clinic, and is open Monday-Friday, 8:00 A.M.- 4:30 P.M.