Pulmonary Function Test (PFT)

Pulmonary function tests are confusing to many patients. But, as those with heart disease are usually aware of their blood pressure and cholesterol levels, the importance of knowing your numbers as they apply to pulmonary function tests (PFTs) and COPD is commonly overlooked.

The National Lung Health Education Program is currently on a mission to encourage patients to be aware of their pulmonary function test results by focusing on their mantra “test your lungs; know your numbers.” Their mission also includes increasing the percentage of doctors who use spirometry in general practice, as it is currently reported that only 30% are doing so at this time.

Knowing your numbers is just another way for you to be your own patient advocate when it comes to your health. It also gives you a method of comparison to determine how well you are responding to treatment and if your disease is progressin.

Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) Available at following locations:

  • Atulaya Healthcare, Chandigarh


In the diagnosis of COPD, pulmonary function tests are performed to assess lung function and determine the degree of damage to the lungs. Along with patient history, lung imaging studies and open lung biopsy, PFTs have become important for doctors in the evaluation of respiratory health.

Pulmonary function tests can be used for a number of reasons:

  • Screening for the existence of lung diseases
  • Determining the patient’s condition prior to surgery to assess the risk of respiratory complications after surgery.
  • Evaluating the ability for a patient to be weaned from a ventilator
  • Assessing the progression of lung disease and the effectiveness of treatment

Three types of pulmonary function tests are used in the diagnosis of COPD – spirometry testing, diffusion studies and body plethysmography.

TIt is performed with a hand-held device called a spirometer and can easily be used by patients with the assistance of an experienced technician. It is normally the clinician’s first choice when attempting to diagnose a respiratory problem. A convenient, noninvasive procedure, spirometry can be performed in the privacy of your doctor’s office or any inpatient or outpatient facility.

Spirometry requires the patient, after all air has been expelled, to inhale deeply. This maneuver is then followed by a rapid exhalation so that all the air is exhausted from the lungs.

Results of spirometry tests vary, but are based on predicted values of a standardized, healthy population.

COPD causes the air in the lungs to be exhaled at a slower rate and in a smaller amount compared to a normal, healthy person. The amount of air in the lungs will not be readily exhaled due to either a physical obstruction (such as with mucus production) or airway narrowing caused by chronic problem.