مستشفى الدكتور سليمان الحبيب - العلياطريق الملك فهد ، العليا ، الرياض 11564 ، المملكة العربية السعودية, الرياض
Pulmonary function testing is performed to determine the type of disorder affecting the lungs. It is also used to determine the stage of any lung disease present. There are different methods used.
The technique of spirometry is used to measure air flow in the lungs, obtaining flow rates and volumes. It involves the patient breathing into a device called a spirometer. Results vary slightly depending on whether the patient performs the test in a seated or standing position.
Measurement of the total lung volume requires the use of an additional technique, one of the following:
Pulmonary function testing is done:
You are advised to avoid eating large amounts of food before the tests. You must also avoid smoking in the 4-6 hours before the tests. The specialist will tell you if you have to stop using a bronchodilator or other inhaled medicine. Similarly, you may have to take an inhaled medicine just before or just after the pulmonary tests.
During the testing, you may experience difficulty breathing or dizziness due to the rapid and forced breathing you are asked to do for correct performance of the test. You may also experience claustrophobia when you sit inside the box - this may be the most uncomfortable part of testing.
An abnormal result means that you may have a lung or chest disease. In emphysema, asthma, chronic bronchitis and infections, the lungs contain too much air and take longer to empty. This type of disease is called obstructive pulmonary disease.
This type of testing can also reveal other types of lung disease. For example, diseases in which the lungs scar and become smaller, such that they cannot hold much air and cannot correctly perform their function of sending oxygen to the blood. If you have weak muscles, this will also be reflected in the results. Some of the diseases are: