What Are The Parts Of The (PFT) Pulmonary Function Test?

What Are The Parts Of The (PFT) Pulmonary Function Test?

Testing procedures known as pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are used to gauge how effectively the lungs are working.

Testing procedures known as pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are used to gauge how effectively the lungs are working. Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, lung cancer, and pulmonary hypertension are among the lung diseases or ailments that these tests are generally requested by a doctor to diagnose or monitor.

PFTs assess several different facets of lung function, including the capacity of the lungs to hold air, the force and speed with which air can be exhaled, the rate at which air can enter and exit the lungs, and the efficiency with which oxygen and carbon dioxide can be transported from the lungs to the bloodstream.

Pulmonary function tests are normally carried out in a specialized lab by a respiratory therapist or technician. By having the patient breathe into a spirometer device, non-invasive tests are typically conducted. Results from PFTs can help doctors diagnose lung conditions and illnesses, monitor a disease's progression and gauge how well a treatment is working.

A pulmonary function test has multiple sections, but the following three are the most crucial ones:


Spirometry is a typical and straightforward pulmonary function test that gauges how quickly and how much air you can exhale. A spirometer is a tool used to gauge both airflow rate and volume.

You will be instructed to take a deep breath and blow into the spirometer as forcefully and quickly as you can.

Your air intake and output as well as your exhalation rate will be recorded by the device. The forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), or how much air you can compel yourself to exhale in one second, is the most significant measurement from spirometry.

This measurement can assist in the diagnosis of ailments like asthma and COPD.

Measurements of lung volume

Measurements of lung volume are tests that assess how much air you can take in and expel, as well as how much air remains in your lungs after a full exhalation.

Plethysmography and nitrogen washout are two examples of the different ways that lung capacity can be measured.

You breathe through a mouthpiece while performing plethysmography while seated in a compact, airtight chamber.

To calculate your lungs' volume, the equipment measures pressure variations inside the chamber.

A test called nitrogen washout determines how much nitrogen is present in your lungs both before and after a brief period of pure oxygen breathing.

Your lungs' volume can be estimated using the difference in nitrogen levels. Using these tests, it is possible to identify diseases like pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer.

Diffusion capacity tests

These tests assess the efficiency with which oxygen and carbon dioxide diffuse from the lungs into the blood.

A little amount of gas, such as carbon monoxide, will be inhaled during this test, and you will then breathe it out again.

Your lungs' ability to transfer gas will be assessed by the machine, which will quantify the difference between the amount of gas you inhaled and exhaled.

The measurement is known as the transfer factor or diffusion capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide (TLCO).

Emphysema and pulmonary hypertension are two disorders that can be diagnosed using this test.

In conclusion, pulmonary function tests are a collection of examinations that assess the efficiency of lung function. Lung volume measurements measure how much air you can inhale and exhale, and diffusion capacity tests measure how well oxygen and carbon dioxide move from the lungs into the blood.

Spirometry measures how much air you can breathe in and out and how quickly you can exhale. These examinations can support the diagnosis of specific lung disorders and diseases, track the course of a disease, and assess the efficacy of treatment.