Services/Pulmonary Function Test Preps
What is a P.F. Test?
The pulmonary function test is a measurement of how much air is taken in and out of your lungs through a variety of breathing patterns.Why is a pulmonary function test done?
Test may consist of:
- It can help your physician in the diagnosis of lung disease, such as asthma or emphysema even before you have symptoms.
- To show severity of disease and help dictate treatment
- Prior to any major surgery
- To show how efficiently the lung transfers oxygen into the blood
- For occupational exposure to any contaminants
(Click on test for more information on test prep. Not all tests are done at every location.)
- Spirometry – This test requires you to take a deep breath, and to exhale completely as quickly and forcefully as possible. You may be asked to repeat this process after taking a medication to open your airways.
- Lung volumes – detects how much a person can take in and how much air remains in your lungs after completely exhaling. Studies are done while you breathe small breaths against a valve, which opens and closes. This is done in a Plexiglas booth for about 5 minutes.
- Diffusion capacity – reveals how efficient the oxygen passes from the lungs into the bloodstream. The patient inhales an oxygen mixture and holds it for about 8 seconds. This is exhaled, then analyzed.
- Asthma Profile – is an exercise performed usually on a treadmill for 10 minutes to determine exercise-induced bronchospasm. This test can take up to one hour including preparation.
(Test is not performed at Mercy St. Anne Hospital.).
- Cardiopulmonary Stress testing – is an exercise performed on a stationary bicycle to evaluate your degree of fitness and extent of any lung, heart, or circulatory problem, typically it can take up to one and a half hours including preparation. A physician is present during testing.
(Test is not performed at Mercy St. Anne Hospital.)
- Methacholine Challenge Testing – testing used to identify hyperactive airways or asthma
(Test is not performed at Mercy Tiffin or Mercy Willard.)
- Pulse oximetry – a small probe is placed on your finger. Within seconds, a reading is obtained for the amount of oxygen saturated in the blood.
- Blood Gas Testing – testing for the measurement of oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood.
What happens to the test results?
The test results are interpreted by a lung specialist called a pulmonologist. Once the test has been interpreted, the results will be sent to your ordering physician.
What do the test results mean?
Your physician will review the test results with you. If your test results are abnormal, here are some questions you may want to consider asking your physician.
- Is there anything I can do to improve my condition?
- Do I need additional testing for diagnosis?
- Should I see a specialist?