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Pulmonary Function Laboratory

Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT) is a generic term for various breathing tests used to evaluate respiratory symptoms such as cough, wheezing and shortness of breath in the lab.

They are also used to determine preoperative risk and to help diagnose common diseases such as Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). All test results are interpreted by pulmonary physicians.

Common tests performed:

  • Spirometry Pre and Post – This is the most commonly used lung function screening study. It is done before and after a bronchodilator (medicine that helps open the bronchial tubes (airways) of the lungs) to show response to medication. Values measured include FVC, FEV1, FEV1/FVC, FEF25-75% and PEF.
  • Full or Complete PFTs include a Spirometry Pre and Post, Lung Volumes and a Diffusion Capacity (DLCO). DLCO measures the amount of Oxygen passing from the air sacs in the lungs into the blood.
  • 6 Minute Walk test which measures the patient’s oxygen saturation during walking. The patient walks for 6 minutes and the distance is measured.
  • Arterial Blood Gas (ABG) that measures the PH, the level oxygen and carbon dioxide in the patient’s blood.


It is recommended to not take any inhalers or nebulizers for your breathing for at least 4 hours before your test is scheduled. You may eat or drink prior to the test.

The Signature Healthcare PFT Lab is located in the Department of Medicine on the first floor of Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital. Appointment times are Monday thru Friday from 8:00am to 2:45 pm, and are made on a referral basis.