A Pulmonary Function test is a breathing test that measures how well your lungs are working. There are many reasons why your physician may need to have you perform a Pulmonary Function test. The most common of these are:
- shortness of breath
You may need to have Pulmonary Function tests performed regularly if you have been diagnosed with a lung disease like:
- pulmonary fibrosis
You may also need to have Pulmonary Function tests performed in order to obtain a baseline for:
- radiation therapy
Some tests can be performed in your physician’s office but many will need to be performed in a Pulmonary Function Lab by trained technicians. Your physician will order the tests that he believes will be most helpful in diagnosing or monitoring your condition.
In order to perform any Pulmonary Function Test you will need to breathe in very specific ways and at very specific times. The technician performing your tests should be able to explain how and when you are supposed to breathe. The ways in which you will need to breathe may often seem peculiar but there are good reasons for every breathing maneuver you will be asked to perform.
Most people are able to perform these breathing maneuvers either right away or with some practice. Occasionally however, some individuals have difficulty performing these tests. There are several relatively common reasons that this can happen.
Latest Q & A:
I was diagnosed with ild last year…
…waiting on explanation of lung biopsy results that show mixed rbild, nsip and early uip pattern. My last pfts show fev1 of 2.56 90% predicted, fvc 3.17 95% predicted with ratio 81 and tlco of 3.28 54% predicted. I’m guessing the fev1 and fvc are not too bad but concerned about tlco, what does this mean and is 54% something to worry about?
Response: Lung volumes (FVC and TLC) are usually decreased when interstitial lung diseases (ILD) are present but this is not a given. Your spirometry results (FVC and FEV1) are reasonably normal but a TLCO (DLCO) that is 54% of predicted is moderately reduced. When gas exchange is this low it can indicate that you might need supplemental O2. Some forms of ILD respond to steroids and other medications; many, unfortunately, do not.