What is this test?

Spirometry, the most readily available and useful pulmonary function test, measures the volume of air exhaled at specific time points during a forceful and complete exhalation after a maximal inhalation. The total exhaled volume, known as the forced vital capacity (FVC), the volume exhaled in the first second, known as the forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and their ratio (FEV1/FVC) are the most important variables reported. The test takes 10 to 15 minutes and carries minimal risk (eg, rarely syncope).

Spirometry is a key diagnostic test for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (when performed before and after bronchodilator) and is useful to assess for asthma or other causes of airflow obstruction in the evaluation of chronic cough. It is also used to monitor a broad spectrum of respiratory diseases, including asthma, COPD, interstitial lung disease, and neuromuscular diseases affecting respiratory muscles.

How will this test be scheduled?

For certain patients with certain breathing conditions, spirometry should be performed often. If your Doctor wishes you to have this test, you will be contacted and asked to come into the office before your regularly scheduled appointment in order for the test to be administered. At the moment, this test is only performed at our Brandywine office.

Special Instructions to Prepare for your Test?

If you are using a rescue inhaler, if at all possible, you should NOT use your inhaler for six (6) hours prior to your appointment for the spirometry test. If you are not able to breathe, of course you should use your inhaler, but if you do use your inhaler within six hours of your appointment, please advise the medical professional performing the test as your testing may have to be adjusted.

Next Steps Following my Test.  When do I get my Result?

You will receive your results at your regularly scheduled office visit the week following your test.

Of course, should you have any questions regarding this test please phone the office at 610-383-6033

Return to Patient Education

Return to Home Page