Lung Function Testing

Breathe West bulk bill all lung function tests for Medicare eligible patients. We provide a high quality and readily accessible lung function service. Appointments can be made by contacting 1300 487 588.

We provide comprehensive lung function testing including

  • Spirometry
  • Gas Transfer
  • Lung Volumes
  • Bronchoprovocation Testing
  • 6 Minute Walk Tests

Lung function tests (LFTs) are a group of tests that measure how well your lungs work. This includes how well you’re able to breathe and how effective your lungs are able to bring oxygen to the rest of your body. Your doctor may order these tests: if you’re having symptoms of lung problems.

SPIROMETRY TEST

Spirometry is a standard test doctors use to measures airflow through your lungs and lung capacity. This test is a baseline test to evaluate for conditions such as asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or lung restriction. To take a spirometry test, you sit and breathe into a small machine called a spirometer. The respiratory scientist will ask you to perform the test at least 3 times and will then ask you to inhale a puffer and repeat the tests to see if the lung function improves.

GAS TRANSFER

This is an important and often neglected test which evaluates the ability of oxygen to cross from the air sacs (alveoli) of your lungs into the blood stream. Together with spirometry this test helps to decide whether there may be a significant problem with how the lungs are working. The test involves breathing a very small amount of carbon monoxide (CO) gas and determining how much of this gas is taken up in the blood stream. The test does NOT involve a blood samples.

MANNITOL CHALLENGE TEST (ALSO KNOWN AS BRONCHIAL PROVOCATION TEST)

A Mannitol challenge test sees if your lung function changes when you breathe increasing concentrations of a compound called mannitol. The purpose of this test is to evaluate for or exclude asthma. Spirometry is performed after each dose of mannitol. If the lung function declines by 15% or more from baseline this suggests a diagnosis of asthma.

6 MINUTE WALK TEST

The 6-minute walk test (6MWT) is a practical test that is used to assess exercise tolerance, oxygenation with activity and changes in heart rate. It measures the distance that a patient can walk on a flat, hard surface over a period of 6 minutes with continuous measurement of oxygen levels and heart rate using an oximeter on the finger.

STATIC LUNG VOLUME TEST

This is a test which is able to provide a more accurate assessment of lung capacities including Total Lung Capacity (TLC), Residual Volume (RV) and Functional Residual Capacity (FRC). Often this test is performed if spirometry is confirmed to be abnormal and there is a suggestion that the lungs are restricted.