Pulmonary Function Test


Pulmonary Function Test: What to Expect

The Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) is a series of breathing tests that measure the air flow into and out of your lungs. You will be asked to breathe through a machine. Sometimes people feel anxious about this test because it takes place in an enclosed glass booth. You will only be in the enclosed booth for a very short time (about 90 seconds). If you have claustrophobia, the test can be performed outside of the booth.

Your respiratory therapist will be at your side each moment to give you clear directions and ensure your comfort.

The complete set of tests can take from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the extent of the testing your doctor has ordered. It is very important to prepare properly for these tests. Your test may be cancelled if you are not prepared.

Pulmonary function tests are available at Cadillac Hospital, Charlevoix Hospital (basic), Grayling Hospital, Kalkaska Memorial Health Center, Manistee Hospital, Munson Medical Center, Otsego Memorial Hospital in Gaylord, and Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital in Frankfort.

Getting Ready for Your Procedure

To ensure accurate test results, follow each of these steps:

  • Do not smoke for 12 hours prior to your test
  • Do not drink alcohol on the day of your test
  • Do not eat a heavy meal 2 hours prior to your test
  • Do not do any strenuous exercise 30 minutes before your test

Most inhalers must not be used for 12 hours before your test. However, long-acting medications (both oral and inhaled) must not be used for up to 48 hours before your test (call with specific questions).

Examples of bronchodilators, inhalers, or nebulizers to withhold for all tests:

Hold for 6 hours

  • Albuterol
  • Ventolin
  • Proair
  • Provental
  • Combivent
  • Atrovent
  • Maxair
  • Xopenex

Hold for 12 hours

  • Advair
  • Serevent
  • Foradil
  • Aerobid
  • Axmacort
  • Flovent
  • Pulmicort
  • Symbicort
  • Dulera

Hold for 24 hours

  • Spiriva

During the Procedure

In order to achieve optimal results, it is important that you are not distracted during the test. Unless determined as necessary to perform the testing, other people will not be invited into the room during testing.

Length of Test

Complete PFT: 60 minutes

Double PFT: 30 minutes

Single PFT: 15 minutes