Pulmonary Function Tests

Overview

Definition

Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are a group of breathing tests. They can 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 complications associated with this procedure.

SymptomsandDiagnosis

Treatments

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.

a (PFT)

RESOURCES

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

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

CANADIAN RESOURCES

COPD Canada http://www.copdcanada.ca 

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

References

Beyerle J. Spirometry for the primary care provider. JAAPA. 2014 Dec;27(12):28-34.

Parker M. Interpreting spirometry: the basics. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2014 Feb;47(1):39-53.

Pulmonary function tests. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:  http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T900274/Pulmonary-function-tests . Updated May 27, 2016. Accessed August 29, 2017.

Pulmonary function studies. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/nursing-reference-center. Updated January 1, 2015. Accessed September 19, 2017.