How the Pulmonary Function Laboratory Contributes to the Management of the Patient With Asthma
Spirometry is a dynamic test that provides the best assessment of obstructive airway disease.
The most useful value that the spirogram provides is the maximum volume of air that can be expelled with a forced expiration after a maximal inspiratory effort, the forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1).
Lung volume measurements are static studies and are less useful in assessing airway obstruction but can demonstrate the presence of pulmonary overinflation.
The carbon monoxide-diffusing capacity can help distinguish between asthma and emphysema in patients who smoke.
Arterial blood gas studies can assess the consequences of bronchospasm and provide a guide for hospitalizing patients with asthma exacerbation.
Nonspecific bronchoprovocation challenge testing with methacholine or other agents may help diagnose asthma when the clinical picture is unclear.
Bronchoprovocation challenge testing using specific agents can help diagnose asthma caused by workplace substances.
Standardization of technique and rigid quality control are an absolute necessity in any pulmonary laboratory.
KeywordsLung Volume Forced Vital Capacity Functional Residual Capacity Forced Expiratory Volume Total Lung Capacity
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