Notice: Users may be experiencing issues with displaying some pages on stanfordhealthcare.org. We are working closely with our technical teams to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.
Diagnostic tests that help to measure the lungs' ability to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide appropriately. The tests are usually performed with special machines into which the person must breathe.
Two types of pulmonary function tests are:
Spirometry -A spirometer is a device used by your physician to assess lung function. The evaluation of lung function with a spirometer is one of the simplest, most common pulmonary function tests and may be necessary for any/all of the following reasons:
To determine how well the lungs receive, hold, and utilize air
To monitor a lung disease
To monitor the effectiveness of treatment
To determine the severity of a lung disease
To determine whether the lung disease is restrictive (decreased airflow) or obstructive (disruption of airflow)
Diffusion Capacity - A test which measures the ability of the airsacs to allow oxygen to diffuse across the interstitium into the blood stream.