How to do and what Prepration to be done for PFT

Pulmonary Function Tests are a diagnostic tool used for detecting, characterizing and quantifying the severity of lung disease.  Routine testing may also be done to monitor the course of disease and also response to treatment and medication in chronic patients. The PFT testing population is Pediatrics (5 years and above) through Geriatrics, as well as testing for our large Lung Transplant population.

Other indications for testing include:

  • Assessing the potential effects or response to environmental or occupational exposure
  • Assessing the risk for surgical procedures known to affect lung function
  • Assessing for impairment and or disability

We have specially trained Respiratory Therapists working in our Pulmonary Function Lab.  Many of them are recognized by the National Board for Respiratory Care as Certified or Registered Pulmonary Function Technologists. They perform various tests including spirometry, lung volumes, diffusing capacity, bronchodilator challenge, methacholine challenge, and maximal pressures to asses lung function, the 6 minute walk test, ambulatory oxygen studies, certification and recertification for oxygen usage, exercise induced bronchospasm studies, shunt studies, high altitude simulation test, cardiopulmonary exercise test, indirect calorimetry studies, overnight oximetry studies, arterial blood gases, and co-oximetry. For lung volume testing, we offer three different methods: Body Plethysmography, Helium Dilution, and Nitrogen Washout.

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Pulmonary Function Laboratory

Our State of the Art equipment is completely integrated into CareConnect (our electronic medical records system) and all testing is immediately posted to the patient’s chart and sent for interpretation by one of our pulmonologists.

During the testing the patient sits in a chair and performs various breathing tests via a mouthpiece into the analyzer. Testing time can vary depending upon which test is ordered, testing may take anywhere from 30 minutes up 2 hours. Exercise testing may take a little longer due to set up time.

To prepare for your pulmonary function test, follow these instructions:

  • No bronchodilator medication for four hours
  • No smoking for four hours before the test
  • No heavy meals
  • Do not wear any tight clothing, for exercise testing please wear a shirt that buttons up from the front and comfortable shoes
  • The complete pulmonary function test takes around one and a half hours
  • Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment to register

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