Pulmonary Diagnostic Testing
PULMONARY FUNCTION TESTS
Pulmonary function tests (PFT's) are breathing tests to find out how well you move air in and out of your lungs and how well oxygen enters your body. The most common PFT's are spirometry, diffusion studies and body plethysmography. Sometimes only one test is done, other times all tests will be scheduled, often on the same day.
6-MINUTES' WALK TEST
The 6MWT is a practical simple test. This test measures the distance that a patient can quickly walk on a flat, hard surface in a period of 6 minutes (the 6MWD). It evaluates the global and integrated responses of all the systems involved during exercise, including the pulmonary and cardiovascular systems.
HOME OXYGEN EVALUATION
Patients with lung disease can have low levels of oxygen in their bodies and some need to use extra (supplemental) oxygen to bring their oxygen levels up to a healthier level. Adults and children with lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis (CF), or bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) may require this therapy. Extra oxygen protects their bodies from the effects of low oxygen levels, helps them to function better, and allows them to stay more active.
Pulse oximetry is a way to measure how much oxygen your blood is carrying. By using a small device called a pulse oximeter, your blood oxygen level can be checked without needing to be stuck with a needle.
Fiberoptic bronchoscopy is a visual exam of the breathing passages of the lungs (called "airways"). This test is done when it is important for your doctor to see inside the airways of your lungs, or to get samples of mucus or tissue from the lungs. Bronchoscopy involves placing a thin tube-like instrument called a bronchoscope through the nose or mouth and down into the airways of the lungs. The tube has a mini-camera at its tip and is able to carry pictures back to a video screen or camera.