Pulmonary Function Lab

Evaluating Lung Function

When you are having difficulty breathing, your doctor may order a group of pulmonary function tests known collectively as a “complete PFT,” to help make a diagnosis.

The tests include:

  • Spirometry to evaluate how fast and how much air is traveling through your airways when you intentionally exhale.
  • Lung volumes to measure how much air you can breathe in, breathe out and is left in your lungs after exhaling completely.
  • Airway resistance to measure air-flow resistance within your airways.
  • Diffusion capacity to measure how well oxygen passes through your lungs and enters the blood stream.

When you take each test, you will breathe through a mouthpiece into a testing device. A respiratory therapist will explain how you should breathe and coach you through the maneuver. You will perform the maneuver several times to ensure an accurate and reliable test result.

The tests together last about one hour.

Pulmonary Function Laboratory
Christiana Hospital, Room 1571
4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road
Newark, DE 19718 directions
7:30 a.m.–4 p.m., Monday through Friday
Wilmington Hospital, Room 1156
501 W. 14th St.
Wilmington, DE 19801 directions
7:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday