Pulmonary function tests are a group of tests that measure how well the lungs take in and release air and how well they move gases such as oxygen from the atmosphere into the body's circulation. Purpose of Pulmonary Function Tests In the diagnosis of COPD, pulmonary function tests are performed to assess lung function and determine the degree of damage to the lungs. Along with patient history, lung imaging studies and open lung biopsy, PFTs have become important for doctors in the evaluation of respiratory health. Pulmonary function tests can be used for a number of reasons: Screening for the existence of lung diseases Determining the patient's condition prior to surgery to assess the risk of respiratory complications after surgery. Evaluating the ability for a patient to be weaned from a ventilator Assessing the progression of lung disease and the effectiveness of treatment The most common of all pulmonary function tests is the spirometry test. It is performed with a hand-held device called a spirometer and can easily be used by patients with the assistance of an experienced technician.
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