Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT)

What is a Pulmonary Function Test?

The purpose of Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs) is to assess the function and capabilities of your lungs. PFTs include tests that measure lung volume/size, airflow, and oxygenation. Pulmonary function tests help with the diagnosis of lung disease and the disease severity. You will be asked to perform different breathing techniques as ordered by the physician. Depending on which tests have been ordered by the doctor, the test may take between 30-45 minutes.
 
Please see the instructions below based on your doctor’s order:
 

Methacholine Challenge Test 

The purpose of a methacholine challenge test is to determine the amount of airway irritability of a patient. You will be asked to inhale a mist that contains different concentrations of methacholine. The mist is produced by a device called a nebulizer and inhaled through a mouthpiece. Before the test begins, and after each period of inhalation, you will be asked to blow forcefully into the breathing machine. The test usually takes 60-90 minutes. 
 
 
Exertional Hypoxemia Testing 
 
The purpose of an exertional hypoxemia test is to determine the need for oxygen and Home Oxygen Program Funding eligibility during exertion. Throughout this study, you may be placed on either medical air or oxygen or both via nasal prongs. You will be walking at your own pace for as long and as far as you can. The Respiratory Therapist (RT) will be monitoring you throughout the test and will ask you about your breathing. This test may take an hour.