Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pulmonary Function Testing


Valuable tool for the evaluation of the respiratory system, representing an important adjunct to the patient history, various lung imaging studies, and invasive testing such as bronchoscopy and open-lung biopsy. The overall approach is to compare the measured values for an individual patient at any particular point in time with normative values derived from population studies to assess physical fitness and working abilities.


a. Help in diagnosis and differentiation of many respiratory diseases (restrictive and obstructive lung disorders, diagnose exercise induced asthma, differentiate chronic bronchitis from BA)

b. Explain the cause of symptoms in patients who are diseased and clinically normal (as early detection of small air way disease)

c. Assessing the course of the disease and effect of therapy (as steroids with BA and radiotherapy with cancer)

d. Objective quantitative measurements of lung damage due to occupational injury

e. Pre-operative assessment


a. Tests of ventilatory function:

§ Evaluate lung volumes and capacities:

o Spirometry (FVC, FEV1, FEF25-75, MVV)

o Body plethysmography

o Gas dilution method (FRC and RV detection) § Evaluate hypersensitivity: broncho-provocative test

b. Tests for gas exchange: tests of diffusion (DLCo, ABGs) Oximetry for O2 saturation and Capnography for trans-cutaneous CO2

c. Tests for lung compliance

d. Tests for resistance and impedance: impulse oscillometry

e. Assessment of regional lung functions

f. Cardio-pulmonary stress tests (CPX) and assessment of respiratory muscle strength

g. Breath condensate

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