Pulmonary Function Tests

James R. Munis

in Just Enough Physiology

Published on behalf of © Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199797790
Published online June 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199929665 | DOI:

Series: Mayo Clinic Scientific Press

Pulmonary Function Tests

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Professional Development in Medicine


Show Summary Details


Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) sort out the ability of the lungs to ventilate and oxygenate. Perhaps the most useful PFT measures arterial blood gas (ABG). Once we've established that the ABG is normal, it doesn't much matter whether pulmonary function is provided by a machine or is natural, nor do specific respiratory parameters (eg, tidal volume, respiratory rate, flow rate) matter as much as the end result of pulmonary function—the ABGs. The next type of PFT is spirometry, is the measurement of inhaled and exhaled lung gas. The next PFT is the flow-volume loop. Before looking at how the loop changes with pathologic conditions, you should be familiar with the axes of the graph. Note that the horizontal axis is inverted, with high volumes closer to the origin and low volumes further from the origin. Finally, the test measuring diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO) rounds out the list of commonly used PFTs.

Chapter.  2360 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Professional Development in Medicine

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.