Pulmonary Function Test
PFTs are a broad range of tests. They measure how well the lungs take in
and exhale air and how efficiently they transfer oxygen into the
Spirometry measures how well the lungs exhale.
The information gathered during this test is useful in diagnosing certain types
of lung disorders,
but is most useful when assessing for obstructive lung diseases
(especially asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD]).
Lung volume measurement detects restrictive lung
diseases. In this set of diseases, a person cannot inhale a normal volume of
air. Restrictive lung diseases may be caused by inflammation or scarring of the
lung tissue (interstitial lung disease) or by abnormalities of the muscles or
skeleton of the chest wall.