Lung function tests measure how much air your child's lungs hold and how quickly your child's lungs can move the air in and out. Spirometry is often the first lung function test that is done. Your child may also have other tests. These tests include gas diffusion tests, body plethysmography, inhalation challenge tests, and
exercise stress tests. Your doctor will explain which tests your child
These tests check how well your child's
lungs work. They may also be called pulmonary function tests, or PFTs.
Doctors use lung function tests to find the cause of breathing problems. These tests are used to diagnose lung diseases like asthma. Your child may have lung function tests
before he or she has surgery. Or your doctor may use these tests to
find out how well treatment for a lung problem is working.
happens during the test depends on the type of test your child has. A
respiratory therapist or technician will do the lung function tests.
For most tests, your child will wear a nose clip. This is to
make sure that no air passes in or out of your child's nose during the test.
Your child then breathes into a mouthpiece attached to a recording device.
The therapist may urge your child to breathe deeply during
some of the tests to get the best results.
Your child may have a
blood test to check oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood before,
during, or after the lung function tests.
testing may take from 5 to 30 minutes. This depends on how many tests your child
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all
appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also
a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines
your child takes.
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Current as of:
May 23, 2016
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
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