Pulmonary examinations: pulmonary function tests

Pulmonary function tests

  • Spirometry: The maximum respiratory capacity (vital capacity) is determined (taking into account age, height and gender). A pathological reduction may be due to narrowing of the airways (obstruction) or a reduced capacity of the respiratory organs (restriction). When examining, the patient must breathe into a mouthpiece while his nose is closed.
  • Breath test (Tiffeneau test): It is performed immediately after spirometry by exhaling quickly and vigorously into the same mouthpiece after deep breathing. It serves to distinguish between an obstruction and restriction.
  • Peak Flow Measurement: In this study, peak expiratory flow is measured; it can be performed by the patient with a suitable device itself. It is used to monitor the progress of certain lung diseases such as asthma in order to detect deterioration of the lung function as early as possible and to be able to counteract this therapeutically.
  • Bodyplethysmography: In addition to the parameters obtained from spirometry, this also allows to determine the gas volume in the thorax and the resistance in the respiratory tract, two other parameters of lung function that are altered in diseases. The patient sits in a hermetically sealed cabin and breathes through a mouthpiece in a separate room. The examination is very precise and largely independent of the cooperation of the patient.
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