Pulmonary function testing

What is a Pulmonary Function Test?

Pulmonary function tests evaluate how well your lungs work. Ventilation is the moving of air into and out of your lungs. There are many different ways that this process can be disrupted, so pulmonary function tests are needed to determine the level of functionality and causes of limited function. These 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 your blood and remove carbon dioxide from your blood. These tests screen for two different types of pulmonary system conditions, restrictive and obstructive.

Pulmonary System Conditions

Restrictive- This condition occurs when the muscles of the chest cavity are not able to expand wide enough to allow for normal air flow.


Many times there can be obstructions, whether foreign or of the body, that can cause decreased air flow. This can cause problems with air flow out of the lungs and affect breathing.

Pulmonary function tests are performed to determine which of these conditions you may be suffering from and the causes of the condition. To determine the condition, causes and the range of pulmonary function, there are many different metrics that are measured during a pulmonary function test.

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