Pulmonary Function Test

Also known as: PFT.

What is a pulmonary function test?

Pulmonary function testing refers to a broad range of tests used to monitor the function of the lungs. The tests range from exercise tests to spirometry to other forms of testing.

What happens during the procedure?

The precise nature of the pulmonary function test will vary based on which test is given. An exercise test monitors lung function before, during and after exercise. Spirometry measures the force of a breath and the patient exhales. Other tests can indicate how well the lungs transfer oxygen to the blood.

Is any special preparation needed?

Some tests require little preparation. Others may require avoiding food, drink or certain medications before the test.

What are the risk factors?

Most tests do not pose any major risks. Exercise testing can pose some slight risks, but they are performed in a controlled environment.


Reviewed by: Antonio Rodriguez, MD

This page was last updated on: May 05, 2021 11:34 AM

Pediatric Pulmonology

Home of the Ventilation-Assisted Children’s Center (VACC), the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is a leading facility in life-saving technology for oxygen-dependent infants, children and adolescents.

Learn more

Learn more about

Spirometry and Pre- and Post-Bronchodilator Testing

Spirometry is a common breathing test that measures the maximum force of a patient’s breath after inhalation and exhalation. Patients with asthma or other breathing problems may perform spirometry pre- and post-bronchodilator in order to examine the effectiveness of the medication on their breathing problems. Learn more

Cardiac Stress Test

A cardiac stress test is a test that doctors use to determine how well your heart & body respond to stress, while working them hard through exercise. Learn more

Myocardial Perfusion Imaging

Myocardial perfusion imaging, also called a nuclear cardiac stress test, helps determine the adequacy of blood flow to the heart. Learn more