Pediatric Pulmonary Clinic
Pediatric Pulmonary Function Testing
Children are not just little adults when it comes to measuring lung function. Special skill and expertise are required in order to obtain good test results.
Our laboratory is designed with a child’s comfort in mind, with compassionate staff and modern computerized equipment used to perform a variety of lung function tests. These tests are non-invasive and painless. In fact, some children even find it fun to participate!
Pulmonary function tests are a series of breathing maneuvers designed to measure the amount of air in the lungs and how well the lungs move air in and out of the lungs.
When children are able to follow simple directions, we are able to perform these easy, non-invasive, and painless tests. Standard methods of pulmonary function testing include:
- Spirometry. The technician will ask your child to place soft, brightly colored clips on his/her nostrils to prevent air leakage from the nose. Your child will then need to bite on the mouthpiece and will be coached on how to breathe depending on the test being performed. Your child will blow into a small plastic tube that is connected to a computer. The computer measures and records each effort. The technician will work with your child to get the best and most accurate results.
- Lung volume measurements. This technique measures the size of the lungs, and how large they expand.
- Exercise testing. At times more specialized testing may be needed, such as monitoring lung function following exercise, or to see if the airway is "hyper-responsive." When this is required, baseline testing is performed (see above), and then the child is either asked to walk/jog on a treadmill or is monitored while he/she inhales a specific medication (methacholine) to see if the airway reacts. Children are closely monitored during these studies, and appropriate treatment is provided when needed. We always make sure the child feels "normal" before they leave the lab.
- Medication. Following initial lung function testing, your child’s doctor may give him/her medication through an inhaler, then repeat the lung function testing, looking for any changes following the medication.
In addition, we also have the capability to perform oxygen saturation and exhaled carbon dioxide levels testing, if needed. These tests are also non-invasive, and only require the child to sit quietly while a monitor records the data