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Pulmonary Function Tests
Pulmonary function testing involves a series of different breathing tests led by a trained pulmonary technician. Our lab offers routine pulmonary function tests, exercise testing and inhalation challenges which include the methacholine bronchial provoction (MBP) study.

The MBP is a study that is offered by a limited number of health care centers in the metropolitan area. This test is done to diagnose bronchial hyper-reactivity in patients who complain of symptoms that resemble asthma, when the results from other pulmonary function tests come back normal. Testing procedures are also used to evaluate the lung function of patients with COPD and their response to exercise.

With this information, the results of blood tests and x-rays, your history and a physical exam, your doctor will be able to prescribe the best treatment plan for you.

How should I prepare for this test?

  • You can have a light meal up to one hour before the test.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages or caffeine-containing beverages such as tea, coffee and soda containing caffeine the day of the test.
  • If you smoke, inform the technician. It is advised that you should not smoke for four hours before the test.
  • If you are taking inhalers, you should not use your short acting relief bronchodilator for four hours before the test.
  • Wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes, as some tests will require you to walk on a treadmill or ride a bicycle.
  • Nail polish should be removed.
  • If you have a cold or respiratory infection within four weeks of the test, you should make another appointment for the test.

What happens during the test?

  • During the test, you will be asked to blow rapidly and forcefully into a machine that measures the amount of air in your lungs.You may be asked to do these breathing exercises in different positions.
  • You may also be given a short acting bronchodilator to see how this affects your breathing. The technician doing the test will give you specific instructions during the test.
  • If your doctor orders an arterial blood oxygen test, a small sample of blood will be taken from a blood vessel near your wrist.
  • A pulse oximeter may be used to measure the amount of oxygen in your blood. This painless test involves putting a clothespin-like device on your finger.

What happens after the test?

  • You can resume your usual diet and medications, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Call your doctor to discuss the results.

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