Pulmonary Function Testing
Spirometry, as this lung function and breathing test is called, functions as a screen for early lung disease in undiagnosed asthmatics and smokers, it also measures the lung age of healthy individuals.
A patient takes as deep a breath as possible, places the airflow meter in their mouth, and then blows out the air as fast as possible in the first second. They then continue to blow for at least 5 seconds longer in an effort to completely empty his lungs. A diagnostic program attached to the spirometer calculates the total amount of air expelled during the full exhalation, and the amount expelled in the first second. These measures are termed forced vital capacity (FVC), and the forced expiratory volume (FEV1) respectively. The procedure is repeated until 3 consistent measures are recorded. The complete testing session takes about 10 minutes
Both the FVC and FEV1 decline after about age 25, but the FEV1 is the best marker. It declines about 1 to 2 percent per year as the graphs below depict. Results below age adjusted averages are cause for additional investigative diagnostic testing such as CT lung scans to assess whether a patient may have lung disease.
Pulmonary Function Testing is provided as part of our Elite Health Evaluation and PhysioAge Assessment.