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Pulmonary Function Testing

Pulmonary Function Testing

The Pulmonary Function Laboratory is the first and only, independent, fully functioning pediatric pulmonary diagnostic center in Orlando Florida. As part of the Children’s Lung, Asthma & Sleep Specialists, the lab allows for first-hand and immediate evaluation and interpretation of pulmonary function tests while the patients are still in the office.

Our Pulmonary Function Laboratory is one of few laboratories in Florida that offers diagnostic testing for kids as young as 3 years of age using impulse oscillometry.  This technology allows for early objective assessment of young patients with lung disease including asthma and access to early intervention and individualized therapy.

The Pulmonary Function Laboratory provides state of the art diagnostic service including;

    • Spirometry
    • Impulse Oscillometry
    • Bronchodilator response evaluation
    • Complete lung volumes with diffusioning capacity
    • Exercise challenge tests
    • Respiratory muscle strength measurements
    • FeNO


spirometrySpirometry is a technique used to measures the amount of air moving in and out of the lungs during various respiratory maneuvers. It allows one to determine how much air can be inhaled and exhaled, and how fast. The test involves having a patient blow forcefully into a mouthpiece connected to the spirometer for up to six seconds. It is usually easily performed by children older than seven years of age but can be done in some children as young as 4 years of age. By measuring how much air is exhaled, and how quickly, a spirometry can evaluate a broad range of lung diseases and can help assess the progression of lung disease and monitor the effectiveness of therapy. To get the “best” test result, the test is repeated three times.

Body Plethysmography

plethysmographyBody plethysmography is a pulmonary function test that determines how much air is in your lungs after you take in a deep breath. It also measures the amount of air left in your lungs after you exhale as much as you can.  During this test, a person sits or stands inside an air-tight box that resembles a short, square telephone booth to perform the tests.  Changes in pressure inside the box help determine the lung volume during various respiratory maneuvers.  Each of our locations is equipped with a body plethysmograph.  In addition to providing complete lung volume measurements, this test is especially useful for the evaluation of patients with restrictive lung diseases such as interstitial lung diseases, sickle cell disease, chronic lung disease related to neuromuscular disorders, pneumonia and chest wall abnormalities including  pectus excavatum and  severe scoliosis.  It can help determine the ability of a patient to tolerate surgery, medical procedures or aggressive treatment such as chemotherapy.

Resistance Measurements

Airway resistance is used for measurement of the work and forces required to move air through the lungs and is useful in the evaluation of patients with suspected upper and lower airway obstructive disease.

Diffusion Capacity

Diffusion capacity is used to evaluate the diffusibility of gases or ease with which gases pass through the lung membranes and are absorbed into the body. This test measures your lung’s efficiency of delivering oxygen and other gases to your bloodstream. A number of physiological and pathological states can affect the diffusioning capacity including asthma, lung restriction, being exposed to chemotherapy agents, pulmonary hemorrhage, fibrosis etc. Like spirometry, this test is done by having the patient breathe into a mouthpiece connected to a machine.  You will be asked to empty your lungs by gently breathing out as much air as you can. Then you will breathe in a quick but deep breath, hold your breath for 10 seconds, and then breathe out as instructed.

Respiratory Muscle Force Measurements

Respiratory muscle strength can be assessed by measuring the maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP, PImax, or negative inspiratory force [NIF]) and the maximal expiratory pressure (MEP or PEmax). The MIP reflects the strength of the diaphragm and other inspiratory muscles, while the MEP reflects the strength of the abdominal muscles and other expiratory muscles. These studies are very useful in evaluating patients with neuromuscular disease, unknown respiratory muscle weakness, ineffective/weak cough and dyspnea.

Pulmonary Testing

A pulmonary exercise test helps evaluate integrated response of heart, lungs and musculoskeletal system to incremental exercise.  It involves exercising on either a stationary bike or a treadmill, with the amount of exercise you are asked to do being gradually increased. In most clinical circumstances, cycle ergometry is the preferable mode exercise; however, depending on the reason for the testing a treadmill may be an acceptable alternative.  Indications for pulmonary exercise testing include evaluation of exercise tolerance, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases/symptoms, preoperative evaluation, pulmonary rehabilitation and others.

Exhaled Nitric Oxide Measurements

Exhaled Nitric oxide measurements allow us to better understand and quantify the extent of eosinophilic inflammation in the airways. An exhaled nitric oxide test provides a complementary role alongside existing pulmonary function tests in the diagnosis and treatment of asthma. It may help in evaluating patients with rare diseases like primary ciliary dyskinesia. The test measures the level of nitric oxide gas in an exhaled sample of your breath. This sample is collected by having the individual breathe into the mouthpiece of a machine that performs the measurement.