Your GP may refer you to a respiratory consultant for more detailed tests.
Pulmonary function tests
Pulmonary function tests are breathing tests carried out in the hospital after being seen by the Respiratory Consultant. You may have had some basic tests at your GP surgery. These hospital tests give more in depth information about your lungs and how they are working. They are usually done by a specialist respiratory physiologist who will be with you during the tests. You may have one or more of these tests.
- Spirometry – To get readings of how your lungs are working. You will usually do this test at least three times to get an accurate result.
- DLco, gas transfer tests – This test shows how the gases are getting from your lung in to your blood stream. It involves measuring the partial pressure difference between very small amounts of carbon monoxide breathed in and out while using this machine.
- Lung Volume – Either nitrogen washout or body Plethysmography. These tests measure the total lung capacity.
- Reversibility studies – These tests check if your symptoms can be reversed with inhaled treatment.
- Challenge tests – These tests are done to assess the irritability of the tubes of the lungs caused by either exercise or other aerosol type irritant. This may then involve either a treadmill or static bike, or using inhaled compounds. You will be closely monitored and supervised when doing these tests.