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Pulmonary Function Testing Description

What is pulmonary function testing (PFT)?

A breathing test or series of tests to determine:

  • maximum volume of air the lungs can hold
  • how fast the patient can move air into and out of their lungs
  • how easy it is for gas to pass from the lungs to the blood and the surface area available for gas movement

Who performs the test?

A certified or registered pulmonary function technician.

Basic test terminology and ordering information

Basic Pulmonary Function Test

  • Test names: PFT, Spirogram, Pulmonary Function Screen, or Flow-volume loop.
  • Description of test: Forced inspiration, forced expiration, followed by another forced inspiration.
  • Values obtained: FVC, FEV1.0, FEF(25-75%), FEV/FVC, PEF, PIF
  • Measures: how fast patient can move air

Pulmonary Function Test with Bronchodilator

Test names: B/A PFT, B/A Spirogram, B/A Flow-volume loop

  • Description of test: forced inspiration, forced expiration, followed by another forced expiration. Administer bronchodilator. Wait approximately 15 minutes and test as before.
  • Values obtained: FVC, FEV1.0, EF (25-75%), FEV/FVC, PEF, PIF (Before and after bronchodilator administration).
  • Measures: how fast patient can move air before and after therapy.

Lung Volumes Test

Test Names: Lung volumes, FRC (Functional Residual Capacity), TLC (Total Lung Capacity), Helium Dilution Study, RV (Residual Volume Determination)

  • Description of test: Patient breathes a small volume of helium over a three to seven minute period, followed by a forced expiratory maneuver, followed by a slow inspiratory maneuver.
  • Values obtained: SVC (slow vital capacity), FRC, RV, TLC, RV/TLC.
  • Measures: volumes of the lung.

Diffusion Test

Test names: DLCO (carbon monoxide diffusion test), Lung Diffusion Test

  • Description of test: Patient breathes a small volume of carbon monoxide gas (nonlethal amount), holds breath for 10 seconds and exhales.
  • Values obtained: DLCO, DLVA
  • Measures: Diffusion capacity of lungs and determines surface area.

Steps to ordering

Contact NEUMED at 330-721-4747 for more information.

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Respiratory and Diagnostic Equipment Repair Since 1987
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