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  Pulmonary function lab  

A Pulmonary function test consists of a series of tests that measures lung function. The tests provide information about how effectively the lung works and the amount of air a person's lung can hold. It also measures the forcefulness of individual's breathing.

A Pulmonary function test may be done when a person has shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing or cough. The test helps to diagnose respiratory conditions including:

  • Abnormal blood flow to the lungs
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema
  • Reactive airway disease - asthma
  • Other respiratory conditions
  • Once a condition is diagnosed pulmonary function test is used to monitor response to the treatment.

We conduct the following pulmonary function test:

  • Spirometry identifies patients with obstructive or restrictive lung disease, but also helps the physician in determining the severity of the diseases and provides a baseline for future comparison should the patient show either improvement or worsening.
  • Lung Volume determination is used to measure the total lung volume/total lung capacity. Lung capacity is decreased in condition associated with scarring of lung tissue, extrinsic compression of lung tissue by fluid or chest/abdominal wall deformities or diaphragm weakness. A high lung volume indicates "trapping of the air in the lungs" by obstructive lung disease such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema.
  • Lung diffusing capacity determines how well the gas is exchanged between the air and the blood flow in the lungs.

Patient preparation:

  • If you smoke please do not smoke for about 12 hours before the test
  • Wear loose comfortable clothing
  • Do not eat a big meal before the test
  • Avoid exercise 2 hours prior to the test
  • Do not take inhalers or lung medicines for the following times:
    • short-acting inhaler-8hrs
    • long-acting inhaler-24hrs
    • theophylline-24hrs
  • Please reschedule the test if you are coming down with the flu, cold or other illness
  • It takes approximately 90 minutes to perform the complete test
  • If it is necessary to reschedult this exam, please give us at least a 24 hour notice

In order to perform this test at our facility a Beaver Family Clinic health care provider must order the test.

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  Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician of other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.