Hit enter to search or ESC to close

About the service

The Pulmonary function service offers a range of respiratory tests for inpatients and outpatients from many disciplines, and direct GP referrals.

The patient performs a number of complex respiratory manoeuvres on specialised equipment. The respiratory scientist will explain the procedure to the patient and guide them through the tests. The patient must be able to understand and follow instruction.

Pulmonary function tests are a series of non-invasive breathing tests that measure how well the lung is working. Tests are performed while sitting, breathing through a mouthpiece and you also wear a noseclip to stop any air escaping via your nose. Most routine tests may take approx 30-60mins and include some of the following tests.

What is it?

This test examines how well you breathe in and out. This test may be performed before and after bronchodilator (salbutamol).

What is it?

This measures the amount of oxygen that passes from your lung to your blood.

What is it?

This test mesures the total size of your lungs.

What is it?

To assess response to common allergens (e.g. pollens, animal hair)

What is it?

A specialised lung function test for diagnosis of asthma.

What is it?

A Test for muscle strength.

How to prepare for the test:

If possible, we recommend that you avoid the following before coming to the lab for Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs)

  • Smoking within one hour of the test
  • Consumption of alcohol within four hours of test
  • Performing vigorous exercise for thirty minutes before test
  • Eating a large meal within two hours of the test
  • Wearing tight or restrictive clothing

You may also be asked to stop using bronchodilators (or antihistamines in case of skin tests) prior to the test. It is important that this is discussed with your requesting doctor in advance of the test. You are advised to continue using steroids or any medications you may be taking for other medical conditions.


Test results

On completion of the test, results are forwarded to the referring doctor and include an interpretation by a consultant respiratory physician. Inpatient service is provided on a daily basis. Outpatients are seen by appointment