PFT is a method of determining how well a patients lungs and airways are working. PFTs may be done on a routine basis and enables our physicians to compare each patient's lung function with a predicted value based on age, height, and sex, as well as their lung function in the past. Closely following these tests allows our physicians to intervene early when lung function is failing and to fine-tune patient therapy.
The term Pulmonary Function Test is a general term; there are many pulmonary function tests. Each test performed will yield different information.
The most common pulmonary function test. During this test the patient inhales as deeply as possible, and then exhales with as much force as possible. Several attempts at this procedure to ensure that the patient is being evaluated at their optimal performance level. Patients will be tested before and after breathing in a bronchodilator. Changes that may occur after allows our physicians to make appropriate changes in your therapy.
This test is usually done in a body plethysmograph or "body box." A body box is a clear plexi-glass booth, in which the patients are situated for testing. Measurements taken by the body box can calculate the total amount of air in a patient’s lungs upon complete exhalation. The total amount of air in a patient’s lungs after a full inspiration is called total lung capacity. The amount of air in the lungs after the patient has fully exhaled is called residual volume. The ratio of these two numbers is a sensitive measure of lung disease.
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