Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT)
1. Spirometry (flow volume loop pre and post salbutamol) (FEV1, FVC)
- Detecting obstructive airways disease and reversibility post bronchodialator.
- Assesses small airways / peripheral airflow, which may help provide early diagnosis of airflow obstruction from smoking.
2. Lung Volumes Test (TLC,FRC,RV)
- Detects restrictive lung diseases vs. obstructive lung disease.
- Detects hyperinflation
3. Oxygen Diffusion Capacity Test (DLCO)
- Assesses oxygen diffusion capabilities across alveoli/pulmonary capillary membrane. For example, emphysema and lung fibrosis vs. asthma and chronic bronchitis.
4. Airway Resistance Test
- Measures resistance to airflow
- Resistance in most cases will be increased with COPD, and asthma.
Indications That Require Pulmonary Function Testing
- Evaluation of smokers over age 40 (dx of C.O.P.D. requires at least one P.F.T.)
- Dyspnea with exertion or at rest
- Chronic cough or sputum production
- Chest tightness and/or exercised-induced cough
- Frequent "cold", "hay fever" or allergies rhinitis
- Management of patients receiving bronchodialator therapy
- Evaluation of acute asthmatic incident
- Documentation of pulmonary disability
- Know exposure to pulmonary irritants or disease causing substances
- Pre-surgical testing for:
- Scheduled thoracic or upper abdominal surgery
- Anticipated lengthy anesthesia
- History or smoking
- Cough or wheezing
- Age greater than 70 years old
- Know pulmonary disease and obesity
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