Lung Function Tests

The lab provides a selection of routine and sophisticated Lung Function Tests for both clinical and research purposes. Skilled and friendly personnel deliver high quality services and standardized procedures.

Lung Function Tests & Equipment

It is the most widely used lung function test, simple and safe enough to perform, even in outpatient settings. It is used to diagnose or monitor asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), response to treatment, or for preoperative evaluation. Spirometry records the exhaled volume as a function of time, while Flow-Volume loop records the flow as a function of volume, in both the inspiratory and expiratory phases of the technique.

It is a multitasking and complex system which can perform several measurements: Spirometry, lung volumes, Airway resistance and conductance, Diffusion capacity for CO, maximal respiratory pressures, mouth occlusion pressure, nitrogen washout …..

Can be measured by the Body Plethysmography, or the gas dilution methods, Helium Dilution and Nitrogen washout.

It is more accurate and advantageous than the dilution methods, especially for patients with obstructive disorders. Measures the Static (Absolute) Lung Volumes and their subdivisions: Vital Capacity(VC),Total Lung Capacity(TLC) and Residual Volume(RV).
In addition measures the Airways Resistance and specific Conductance.

Assessment of the alveolar gas exchange across the alveolar-capillary membrane, the thin membrane that separates blood from the air inhaled in the alveoli. It requires the inhalation of a gas mixture that contains small concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO) during the commonly used single breath or intra breath methods.

Maximal inspiratory (MIP) and expiratory (MEP) Pressures: assess respiratory muscle strength or weakness, as in cases of neuromuscular diseases.
MIP is the lowest (more negative) pressure generated during a maximal inspiratory effort against an occluded shutter.

MEP is the highest (positive) pressure generated during a maximal expiratory effort against an occluded shutter.

Maximal Inspiratory Pressure (MIP)

Maximal Inspiratory Pressure (MIP)

Maximal Expiratory Pressure (MEP)

Maximal Expiratory Pressure (MEP)

The neurological drive to breathing can be assessed by the Mouth occlusion Pressure (P.01 ) technique. P.01 is the pressure generated at 0.1 seconds after the onset of an inspiratory effort against an occluded shutter and it is considered  an integrated index of respiratory centre output during quiet breathing.

Exhaled NO is a biomarker associated with airway inflammation. Measurement of exhaled NO is commonly used in asthma, especially in paediatrics, for disease monitoring and evaluation of the response to (inhaled) corticosteroid treatment.

Measures the total respiratory system impedance and resistance. What is of the utmost importance is that it only takes quiet breathing. It is easy to perform especially by young children and dyspnoeic patients. Frequently used in paediatric asthma in order to evaluate the response to treatment and also in broncho provocation testing.

Measurement of the partial pressures of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the arterial blood, gives a qualitative estimation of the gas exchange process i.e the fundamental purpose of the respiration. At the same time, measurement of the blood pH (acidity), bicarbonates and lactate gives an insight of the acid-base equilibrium or imbalance of the organism.

The air of expiration is liquidised (collected and at the same time frozen at very low temperatures).This biologic liquid represents the subject of intense scientific research, especially in regards to biomarkers for early diagnosis of lung diseases, including  cancer.

Information For Patients

LUNG FUNCTION TESTS are done for:

  • disease diagnosis (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, interstitial fibrosis, neuromuscular diseases)
  • cough and dyspnoea aetiology diagnosis
  • occupational disease diagnosis and follow-up
  • disease monitoring and follow-up
  • evaluation of treatment effectiveness
  • preoperative evaluation

PRIOR TO YOUR TEST

Physician’s referral is required for acceptance and appointment.

Lung function tests are breathing exercises you will have to get familiar with. For that purpose all tests are repeated (2-3 efforts ), until repeatability and a good technique are achieved. Consider you may need  up to 60 minutes for a complete evaluation, especially when multiple tests are prescribed.

  • Prior to the tests it is recommended to avoid exercise and alcohol, while you can have a light meal 2 hours before (unless instructed otherwise).
  • In the George D. Behrakis RESEARCH LAB we work towards smoking prevention. However in case you are a smoker please try not to smoke the day prior to the tests.
  • If you are on an inhaler medication, do not take it for 4 – 12h prior to the test, depending on  the type of your prescription. You can always ask for our assistance if uncertain on how to proceed.
  • In case you experience breathing difficulty, please use your medication as prescribed.

For more information and guidance regarding medication our Physician and staff will be happy to give instructions.