Pulmonary function test

Pulmonologists from the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and certified pulmonary function technicians will perform your pulmonary function tests.

What Do Pulmonary Function Tests Involve?

PFTs are noninvasive diagnostic tests that provide measurable feedback about the function of the lungs. By assessing lung volumes, capacities, rates of flow and gas exchange, PFTs provide information that, when evaluated by your physician, can help diagnosis certain lung disorders. This test will also determine your eligibility for heart transplantation.

Spirometry for Evaluating Lung Function

Spirometry is a type of pulmonary function test that is used in the evaluation of lung function. During a spirometry, our technicians will ask you to exhale air into a measuring device known as a spirometer, which measures your exhaled volume and airflow. If you’ve already been diagnosed with a chronic lung disorder, spirometry can be used to check how well your lungs are functioning.

Once a diagnosis is made, you will be referred to Jefferson physicians who will deliver comprehensive therapeutic services for the entire spectrum of diseases that affect the respiratory system. Our staff also collaborates with Jefferson thoracic surgeons, should surgical intervention be required.

Pulmonary function tests are a broad range of tests that measure how well the lungs take in and exhale air, and how efficiently they transfer oxygen into the blood. These tests are performed to diagnose certain types of lung disease (especially asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema), to determine the cause of shortness of breath, or to measure whether occupational exposure to contaminants affects lung function. It can also be used after the administration of medications to assess their effect, and to measure progress in disease treatment.

They include tests that measure lung size and air flow, such as spirometry and lung volume tests. Other tests measure how well gases such as oxygen get in and out of your blood. These tests include pulse oximetry and arterial blood gas tests. Another pulmonary function test, called fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), measures nitric oxide, which is a marker for inflammation in the lungs. You may have one or more of these tests to diagnose lung and airway diseases, compare your lung function to expected levels of function, monitor if your disease is stable or worsening, and see if your treatment is working.