Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs) are non-invasive tests that measure the function of your lungs. These tests provide many different measurements that can be used to determine how well your lungs are working as well as diagnose respiratory conditions such as asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Let’s dive into the different measurements of pulmonary function tests and what they are used for.
Measurements of a Pulmonary Function Test
Pulmonary Function Tests are mainly used to measure the amount of air that your lungs can hold and the amount of force you use to empty your lungs. To find out this information, the PFT utilizes several measurements, here are a few of them:
- Tidal Volume (VT) – This is the amount of air that enters the body through inhaling and exhaling. This measurement helps determine whether the lungs are filling up with air properly.
- Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR) – This is the maximum speed that you can forcefully exhale air out of the lungs. This measurement can be used to evaluate airway function and help diagnose conditions such as asthma.
- Minute Volume (MV) – This is the amount of air that you can exhale from your lungs in one minute. This measurement is important because it can help diagnose conditions like chronic bronchitis.
- Vital Capacity (VC) – This measures the total volume of air that can be exhaled after maximum inhalation. This is used to evaluate the function of the lungs and can help diagnose emphysema.
- Total Lung Capacity (TLC) – This is the greatest amount of air that your lungs can hold.
Understanding Pulmonary Function Test Results
After your pulmonary function test is completed, your physician will compare your score with the results of other tests that were done by individuals with a similar demographic. There is no way to “fail” a pulmonary function test, but if your results are abnormal compared to the typical scores, your physician will contact you to further discuss diagnosis and treatment options.
At Advanced Respiratory Care Network, we perform pulmonary function testing at several locations. PFTs can help provide accurate diagnoses for many respiratory conditions, measure progress in current treatments, find the cause of shortness of breath, and more. If you are interested in learning more about our pulmonary function testing services, please visit our website.
Understanding what PFTs measure can help you better understand why PFTs are done and how they can be helpful! If you have any questions about the measurements and results of your pulmonary function test, please reach out to our team! Learn more about the pulmonary function testing services available at Advanced Respiratory Care Network by clicking the button below.
Pulmonary Function Testing