Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT)

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Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT)

MIR Minispir 2 - PC Based SpirometerWhat are pulmonary function tests?

Lung function tests (also called Pulmonary Function Tests, or PFTs) check how well your lungs work. The tests determine how much air your lungs can hold, how quickly you can move air in and out of your lungs, and how well your lungs put oxygen into and remove carbon dioxide from your blood.  The tests can diagnose lung diseases, measure the severity of lung problems, and check to see how well treatment for a lung disease is working.

Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs) are noninvasive diagnostic tests that provide measurable feedback about the function of the lungs, by assessing multiple values and rates such as lung volumes, capacities, rates of flow, and gas exchange, PFTs provide information that, when evaluated by your doctor, can help diagnose certain lung disorders or health problems.  Pulmonary function tests is an inclusive term that refers to several different procedures that measure lung function in different ways.


Spirometry is the first and most commonly performed lung function test (Pulmonary Function Tests).

Our PFT involves the use of a spirometer.  The spirometer is an instrument that measures the amount of air breathed in and/or out or your lungs and how quickly the air is inhaled and expelled from the lungs while breathing through a mouthpiece.  The measurements are recorded on a digital recording device called a spirograph and the information collected by the spirometer may be printed out on a chart called a spirogram.

Spirometry is a safe procedure and Pulmonary Function Testing is a noninvasive procedure which is safe for most individuals.  It is quick and the individual only needs to be able to follow clear and simple directions.

Complications of PFTs may include faintness or light-headedness due to hyperventilation or even an asthmatic episode precipitated by deep inhalation exercises.

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