Pulmonary Function Testing

Authors: Ruppel, Gregg L; Enright, Paul L

Source: Respiratory Care, Volume 57, Number 1, January 2012 , pp. 165-175(11)

Publisher: The Journal Respiratory Care Company

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Pulmonary function testing is often considered the basis for diagnosis in many categories of pulmonary disease. Although most of the testing methodologies are well established and widely employed, there are still many questions regarding how tests should be performed, how to ensure that reliable data are produced, what reference values and rules should be used, and how pulmonary function tests (PFTs) should be interpreted to best support clinical decision making. This conference was organized around a set of questions aimed at many of these issues. Each presenter was asked to address a specific topic regarding what tests should be done, how those test should be performed to answer a particular clinical question, and to relate test results to an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment of the patient. These topics included testing of adults and children, with concentration on important disease entities such as COPD, asthma, and unexplained dyspnea. Special emphasis was given to discussing reference values, lower limits of normal, interpretive strategies to optimize disease classification, and those factors directly affecting data quality. Established techniques for spirometry, lung volumes, diffusing capacity, exercise testing, and bronchial challenges were compared and contrasted with new technologies, and with technologies that might be part of pulmonary function laboratories in the near future.

Keywords: pulmonary function testing

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4187/respcare.01640

Affiliations: Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep Medicine, Saint Louis University Hospital, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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