Pulmonary function testing

Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs) are a non-invasive way of assessing how well a patient’s lungs are functioning. The tests are used to measure the various aspects of lungs, including lung volume, capacity, rates of flow and gas exchange. The well-equipped Laboratory for Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT)  offers the most advanced technologies to perform the diagnosis and monitoring of lung diseases.

The team of experienced pulmonologists and technicians use state-of-the-art PFT system to screen patients at risk of lung diseases. PFT is a group of tests that evaluate the efficiency and functioning of lungs. This includes how well you’re able to breathe and how effective your lungs are able to bring oxygen to the rest of your body.
 

Who Is a Right Candidate for Pulmonary Function Testing?

Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTS) are an important tool in the investigation and monitoring of patients with respiratory pathology. They provide important information relating to the large and small airways, the pulmonary parenchyma and the size and integrity of the pulmonary capillary bed. 

Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT) in children plays an important role in the evaluation of the child with known or suspected respiratory disease. The goal is to diagnose and monitor the pathophysiologic aspects of the patients' respiratory conditions, thereby improving management.

Conventional tests that are frequently performed in the evaluation of paediatric respiratory conditions include measurements that identify:

  • Airway obstruction
  • Restrictive lung, chest wall, and respiratory muscle defects
  • Diffusion defects (those that impair diffusion of gas through the alveolar-capillary membrane)

The Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs) are advised to patients for many different reasons. These tests are advised as part of a routine physical check-up or for people who work in hazardous environments and are exposed to certain substances such as sawdust, coal, asbestos, graphite, paint etc in their work areas. It is also prescribed to people with health problems such as:

  • Allergies
  • Respiratory Infections
  • Trouble Breathing (due to an injury or recent surgery)
  • Chronic Lung Conditions 
  • Asthma
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Emphysema
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Asbestosis (caused by inhaling asbestos fibres)
  • Restrictive Airway Problems
  • Scoliosis
  • Tumours 
  • Inflammation of the Lungs 
  • Scarring of the Lungs
  • Sarcoidosis (a disease which causes the formation of lumps of inflammatory cells around organs)
  • Scleroderma (a disease which causes thickening and hardening of connective tissue)

What Are the Various Procedures Involved in Pulmonary Function Testing?

The Centre is amongst the few to perform several unique procedures such as:

Spirometry: A spirometer is a device used to measure the rate of airflow and estimate the size of lung. It comes with a mouthpiece hooked up to a small electronic machine through which a patient has to breathe multiple times to complete the test.

Plethysmography: -This process is used to measure the volume of the lung. To undergo the test a patient has to sit or stand inside an air-tight box that looks like a telephone booth. Then a mouthpiece is given to the patient to breathe in and out.

Lung Diffusion Capacity - Lung diffusion capacity is a test used to measure the transfer of oxygen from the lungs into the blood stream. The results are indicative of the function of the lung tissue and the blood flow to the lungs.
The test involves inhalation of a gas through a tube, followed by a short period to hold the breath and then blowing out the gas through the tube. These tests are performed for both adults and children.

Impulse Oscillation Testing (IOS) - This test assesses how narrow your airways are by measuring airway resistance. The test can distinguish between the resistance of the large and small airways and can also measure the stiffness of your lungs. The test requires that you breathe in and out quietly for 30 seconds at a time. This test is easier to perform and can even be done in young children.

PFT measures:

  • Tidal Volume (VT): Measures the amount of air a patient inhaled or exhaled during normal breathing.
  • Minute Volume (MV): Measures the total amount of air a patient can exhale in a minute.
  • Residual Volume: Used to measure the amount of air left in the lungs after exhaling as much as a patient can.
  • Vital Capacity (VC): Measures the total volume of air that a patient can exhale after inhaling as much air as he/she can.
  • Functional Residual Capacity (FRC): Measures the amount of air left in the lungs after normal exhaling.
  • Total Lung Capacity: Measures the total volume of the lungs filled with as much air as a person can  inhale
  • Forced Vital Capacity (FVC): Measures the amount of air a patient can exhale forcefully and quickly after inhaling as much as he/she can.
  • Forced Expiratory Volume (FEV): Measures the amount of air that expires during the first, second and third seconds of the FVC test.
  • Forced Expiratory Flow (FEF): Measures the average rate of flow of air during the middle half of the FVC test.
  • Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR): Measures the fastest rate at which a patient can force air out of the lungs.

According to doctors, the value of PFTs may vary from person to person. It is based on factors like age, height, sex and race. A doctor may evaluate your medical condition on the basis of the test results.

Find Complete Relief from BLK Experts

If you think you are facing similar conditions, or have suffered from them in the past, please contact the BLK Hospital team to schedule an appointment at : +91-11-30403040

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