Respiratory Examinations

Spirometric examination
Spirometry is a basic examination that measures the functional capacity of the lungs. It is used to examine asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In the examination, the patient inhales the lungs full of air and blows with full force into a spirometric device that measures the volume of the exhaled air and several different flow rates, for example. If necessary, a bronchodilation test is performed in which the patient is administered a drug that dilates the bronchi. After approximately 10 minutes, the spirometric examination is repeated. The results are then compared with each other to assess the effect of the drug.

Pulmonary diffusing capacity examination
A pulmonary diffusing capacity examination measures the exchange of respiratory gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) between the pulmonary alveoli and circulation. The examination is used to assess the functional capacity of pulmonary tissue and lung volume in various pulmonary diseases such as emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, inflammatory pulmonary diseases and after a pulmonary embolism. In addition, the examination is used in the monitoring of pulmonary side effects of some pharmaceuticals.

In the examination, the patient inhales the test gas into the lungs and holds his or her breath for approximately ten seconds, after which he or she can lightly exhale.

Oscillometry examination
Oscillometry is used to examine the function of lungs and mainly asthma in small children. In the examination, a mouthpiece is placed in the child’s mouth between the teeth and the child should breathe through this piece normally. The nose is closed with a light clamp, which forces the breathing to take place only through the mouthpiece. If necessary, a stress oscillometry examination can be performed. In it, the child runs outside for 5–7 minutes after the initial measurements. After the exertion, the child breathes several times into the oscillometry over a period of 10–15 minutes. In this way, the effect of physical exertion on the function of the lungs can be examined. In addition, a bronchodilation test is always performed in connection with the examination or it is examined how a bronchodilator affects the functioning of the lungs.

Nitric oxide examination
In the case of nitric oxide examination, the nitric oxide concentration of exhaled air is examined. The patient exhales until the lungs are empty, places a mouthpiece in the mouth, inhales so that the lungs full of air and blows the air out evenly. Exhaled air always contains small amounts of nitric oxide, but in inflammatory pulmonary diseases such as asthma, its concentration clearly increases.
 

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