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Pulmonary Function Lab

You are in the best of hands with our professional staff of certified technicians and technologists. They will do all that they can to make your brief time with us as comfortable as possible. Please feel free to ask them any questions you may have regarding your pulmonary function studies.

To schedule your Pulmonary Function Test, call 240-566-3400.

What are Pulmonary Function Tests?

Pulmonary Function Tests are diagnostic tests used to measure how well the lungs are functioning, including the rate of air flow and the volume of air exhaled. These assessments are also used to detect the presence of respiratory disease.

Pulmonary Function tests may include:

  • Spirometry measures the volume and / or flow of air you inhale or exhale over a specific period of time.
  • Lung Volume assessments are used to measure the volume of gas within the lungs, and help your doctor diagnose restrictive lung disease. With patients who have severe airway obstruction these measurements identify the volume of air that remains trapped in the lungs.
  • Diffusing Capacity (DLCO) measures the rate at which a gas diffuses across the alveolar-capillary membrane in the lungs.
  • Arterial Blood Gas is a test used to check how well your lungs are able to move oxygen into the blood and remove carbon dioxide from the blood.

The Frederick Health Pulmonary Function Laboratory's professional staff provide a warm and welcoming environment that is relaxing for adults and reassuring for pediatric patients. All tests are conducted using the latest equipment with the assistance of our certified technicians. Results are interpreted by our Board Certified Pulmonologist.

Pediatric Pulmonary Function Tests

The Frederick Health Pulmonary Function Laboratory offers a full range of pediatric diagnostic pulmonary tests for children between the ages of 5-17. All result interpretations are done by a Board Certified Pediatric Pulmonologist.

Services include:

  • Spirometry
  • Spirometry after bronchodilators
  • Flow volume loop
  • Lung volumes by Plethysmography
  • Airway resistance (Raw)
  • Single Breath Diffusing Capacity (DLCO)
  • Arterial Blood Gases
  • Pulse oximetry
  • Maximal inspiratory / expiratory pressures (MIP / MEP)

Children must be able to follow and execute commands provided by the pulmonary technologist. Children who are too young, or those with behavioral or developmental problems may have difficulty with these tests.

To accommodate working parents and parents who do not wish to take their children out of school, evening hours are available upon request.

Adult Pulmonary Function Tests

Comprehensive diagnostic testing is available for adults 18 years and older. In addition to all of the tests listed above, adult patients are offered the following studies:

  • Methacholine Challenge Test
  • Metabolic Stress Test
  • Six Minute Walk Test

Preparing for Your Pulmonary Function Tests

  • Avoid smoking the day of testing
  • Do not use inhaled bronchodilators for four to six hours prior to testing
  • Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing
  • Avoid heavy meals prior to testing

Depending upon the kind of tests your physician has ordered, additional instructions may be given to you when you schedule your appointment.

Please bring your physician's order and an up-to-date list of all medications including the name, dosage, frequency taken, route taken and physician prescribing.

The Frederick Health Pulmonary Function Laboratory is located on the first floor of the hospital in the Cardiopulmonary Department.

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