Pulmonary Function Tests

When your patients require cardiopulmonary function tests, Nicklaus Children's Hospital, the region’s pediatric care leader – offers a comprehensive array of tests geared for children ages 5 and up. The tests are administered in the hospital’s new state-of-the art Pediatric Pulmonary Function Lab.

You’ll be confident knowing that pulmonary function tests are performed and interpreted by experts specially trained and highly experienced in testing and evaluating children. 

Hard-to-Diagnose Asthma Patients

The Nicklaus Children's Hospital Cardiopulmonary Function Lab offers three specialized Bronchial Challenge Tests to confirm the presence or absence of bronchial hyperactivity in children. Bronchial Challenge Testing is indicated for the diagnosis of bronchial airway hyperactivity in subjects who do not have clinically apparent asthma. Bronchial challenge testing is an objective means to help you establish a diagnosis of asthma. A negative Bronchial Challenge Test result can rule out asthma as a potential etiology with a high degree of accuracy. By ruling out asthma as a causative factor in patient presentation, practitioners can work up an alternative diagnosis and avoid unnecessary medications or costs for patients.

Bronchial Challenge Tests

  • Exercise Challenge Test: Utilizes a treadmill or ergometer. For those pediatric patients who are incapable or unwilling to sustain exercise long enough for reliable test results the Nicklaus Children's Hospital Cardiopulmonary Function Lab offers two additional widely supported reliable methods.
  • Cold Air Challenge
  • Methacholine Challenge Test

Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing

The Nicklaus Children's Hospital Cardiopulmonary Lab offers pediatric cardiopulmonary exercise testing that can be used to evaluate:
  • Cardiopulmonary performance in preoperative or postoperative congenital heart defects
  • Functional capacity for vocational, recreational, armed forces, and athletic recommendations
  • Specific symptoms or signs induced by exercise including palpitations, syncope, or possible arrhythmias
  • Cardiomyopathies and overall fitness levels
  • Suspected pulmonary disorders such as exercise-induced bronchospasm
Unlike most medical tests, which are performed on resting subjects, cardiopulmonary exercise testing can assess the functional capacity of the individual and can provide a more complete understanding of the patient’s physical abilities and limitations.

Additional Pulmonary Function Tests

Other tests offered through the Pulmonary Function Lab include:
  • Spirometry and pre- and postbronchodilator testing to quantify the severity of known lung disease and/or assess the change in lung function over time or following a change in therapy. The test is also used to assess the potential effects of environmental or occupational exposure.
  • Lung Volume Studies (Body Plethysmography or Helium Dilution) to assist doctors in differentiating between obstructive and restrictive disease patterns and assess response to therapeutic interventions (transplantation, radiation, chemotherapy, lobectomy). The study also supports physicians in making preoperative assessments in patients with impaired lung function and in quantifying the amount of non-ventilated lung.
  • Carbon Monoxide Diffusing Capacity (DLCO) testing to differentiate among chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma in patients with obstructive patterns. The test also supports physicians in predicting arterial desaturation during exercise in obstructive pulmonary disease and in evaluation and follow-up of interstitial lung disease and parenchymal lung diseases associated with dust (eg, asbestos) or drug reactions.