Pulmonary function tests measure how well your lungs are working.
The tests also help assess how well treatment for lung disease is working.
More specifically, pulmonary function tests measure:
- How much air your lungs can hold (lung capacity or lung volume)
- How quickly you move air in and out of your lungs
- How well your lungs exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide
Types of Pulmonary Function Tests
Tests are noninvasive, quick, easy and painless. They may be conducted by a respiratory therapist.
Pulmonary function tests include:
- Arterial blood gas (ABG) – test to determine whether you are getting enough oxygen
- CT scan – provides a more enhanced image than X-ray
- Chest X-ray – imaging test to see how well your lungs and heart are working
- Electrocardiogram (EKG) – electrodes placed on your body provide data on the function of your heart
- Peak flow monitor – used on children to measure airflow out of their lungs
- Pulse oximetry – measures the oxygen level of your blood
- Sputum culture – helps determine the cause of excess sputum (phlegm) in your lungs
- Spirometry – measures the amount of air you exhale and how quickly you exhale