A PFT measures how efficiently an individual's lungs perform essential tasks.
Several separate techniques are used to determine the amount of air the lungs can hold, how well the lungs move air into and out of the body and how effectively exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide.
There are three primary phases of pulmonary function testing:
- Lung volume measurement
- Diffusion capacity measurement
However, there are variations on these tests that can provide physicians with lung disorders. All of these tests provide measures of various lung functions, including volume, carbon monoxide response, total lung capacity and many more. With this physicians can accurately diagnose both the nature of the lung disorder and it severity.