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Lung Function Tests

Lung function testing is sometimes performed as part of a general health check-up or for people with ongoing lung function problems.

procedure: The usual measures of lung function are of forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expired volume in 1 second (FEV1). These can be measured with a full maximal expiration. Explain to the subject that they must fill their lungs completely, seal their lips around the mouthpiece, and empty their lungs as hard and fast as possible. The best of two trials is usually recorded.

equipment required: Spirometer (e.g. Vitalograph)

interpretation: Lung function and lung volumes vary with age, sex and body size (especially height).

disadvantages: this test requires expensive equipment that is not generally available. A simple and inexpensive measure of lung function is the peak flow test.

spirometry testspirometry test

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