Pulmonary function tests

As the name suggests these are a group of tests done to see how the lungs are working. Pulmonary Function Tests are useful in understanding how well you are able to breathe and how effectively your lungs are bringing oxygen to rest of your body. These are valuable in diagnosing a respiratory disease. Not only in the diagnosis, pulmonary function tests are used to know the response for the treatment and based on these tests your doctor can change or continue the treatment plan.

Indications –

  • To diagnose a condition if you have any lung disease related symptoms.
  • To know the disease severity and progression in

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease, Asthma, Sarcoidosis, Congestive Heart Failure, Congenital Heart Disease, Sarcoidosis, Myasthenia Gravis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, Multiple sclerosis etc.

  • To know the lung status before any major surgery. Eg: Cardiac surgery, Thoracic surgery, Organ transplantation etc.
  • If you are regularly exposed to some substances at workplace or environment.

Pulmonary function test performance technique:

  • A nose clip is placed when the patient is in sitting position. He needs to breathe in and breathe out several times before the actual test begins. They need to take deep breaths as much as they can.
  • Mouth should completely cover the mouthpiece. Ask him  to blow out as fast and quickly as they can.
  • After blowing out they need to take deep breaths. Whole test should be repeated thrice. Goal is to get a result which is consistent. You may need to repeat the test more than three times in order to obtain an internally valid test.





Dr. Alekhya

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