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1) Spirometry and flow volume loop
- Evaluate respiratory symptoms, especially dyspnea, wheeze, stridor and persistent cough.
- Evaluate abnormal laboratory tests, such as hypoxemia, hypercapnia, polycythemia, etc.
- Diagnose an obstructive or restrictive ventilatory impairment, or any extrathoracic upper airway obstruction.
- Help assess peri-operative risk or exercise capacity.
- Monitor the course of chronic obstructive lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD.
- Monitor the course or chronic restrictive diseases, such as fibrosing alveolitis or a neuromuscular disorder.
- Evaluate the response to specific therapy for a respiratory condition.
- Help validate subjective complaints in occupational or environmental settings.
2) Carbon Monoxide Diffusing Capacity
- Establish the presence of parenchymal lung disease in patients with an obstructive ventilatory impairment ( e.g. differentiating asthma from underlying emphysema).
- Establish the presence of parenchymal lung disease in patients with a restrictive ventilatory impairment (e.g. differentiate intrinsic lung disease from an extrapulmonary process)
- Establish the presence parenchymal lung disease in patients with otherwise normal pulmonary function studies (e.g. asbestosis, fibrosing alveolitis, drug-induced or radiation pneumonitis, pheumoncystis pneumonia.)
- Help assess disease severity in patients with parenchymal or pulmonary vascular disease and to estimate functional impairment and/or disability.
- Help monitor patients with pulmonary haemorrhage syndromes.
3) Functional Residual Capacity
- Confirm a diagnosis suspected by spirometry.
- In a restrictive disease, diagnose a respiratory disorder not clearly evident from spirometry or to help assess disease severity.
- Help monitor the progression of parenchymal lung disease or assess its response to therapy.
- Estimate oxygen saturation in a patient at rest with or without supplemental oxygen therapy.
- Document changes in oxygen saturation with exercise, (usually in patients with SaO2 > 90% at rest).
- Document improvement in oxygen saturation following change in therapy or in level of oxygen supplementation.