Pulmonary Function Tests



Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are a group of tests that show how well your lungs are working. PFTs may measure:

  • How much air you can blow out
  • How much air your lungs can hold at different times during the breathing cycle
  • How fast you are blowing air out
  • How well gas is being transferred from your lungs into your blood
Respiratory System
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Possible Complications

There are no major problems linked to these tests.



This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

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American Lung Association http://www.lung.org 

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org 


COPD Canada http://www.copdcanada.ca 

The Lung Association http://www.lung.ca 


Pulmonary function tests. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:  http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T900274/Pulmonary-function-tests . Updated March 20, 2019. Accessed December 17, 2019.

Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive (COPD): Quality of Life. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/nursing-reference-center. Updated December 28, 2018. Accessed December 17, 2019.