Pulmonary Function Test Uses Preparation Procedure Risks What are pulmonary function tests (PFTs)? Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are a group of tests that measure how well your lungs work. This includes how well you’re able to breathe and how effective your lungs are able to bring oxygen to the rest of your body.
Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are noninvasive tests that show how well the lungs are working. The tests measure lung volume, capacity, rates of flow, and gas exchange. This information can help your healthcare provider diagnose and decide the treatment of certain lung disorders.
Your doctor will order these tests to determine how your lungs are working. If you already have a condition that’s affecting your lungs, your doctor may order this test to see if the condition is progressing or how it’s responding to treatment.
PFTs can help diagnose:
- chronic bronchitis
- respiratory infections
- lung fibrosis
- bronchiectasis, a condition in which the airways in the lungs stretch and widen
- COPD, which used to be called emphysema
- asbestosis, a condition caused by exposure to asbestos
- sarcoidosis, an inflammation of your lungs, liver, lymph nodes, eyes, skin, or other tissues
- scleroderma, a disease that affects your connective tissue
- pulmonary tumor
- lung cancer
- weaknesses of the chest wall muscles