Diagnosis and Care

At Missouri Baptist Medical Center our Respiratory Care team can perform several tests for diagnosis including:

  • Pulmonary function test (with or without bronchodilators) – This four-part exam tests for asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and certain other conditions that affect breathing; vital capacity; total lung capacity; and lung diffusion. Depending on the results you may need further testing with a bronchodilator, a drug that widens the air passages of the lungs and eases breathing.
  • Methacholine Challenge or Bronchospasm Exam – Checks for asthma. The patient inhales medication and is then administered a spirometry test to determine how the lungs react.
  • Spirometry or flow volume loop – Is part of a full pulmonary function test or to periodically check how well the lungs are functioning during treatment for chronic lung conditions. It also measures how much air you can inhale and exhale and how fast you exhale.
  • Arterial Blood Gases – Part of a pulmonary function test or separate, blood is taken from an artery in your wrist to test oxygen levels.
  • Six Minute Walk – Measures oxygen levels while walking for six minutes to determine your need for supplemental oxygen.
  • Lung Diffusing Testing (DLCO) – Measures how well the lungs exchange gases.
  • Vital Capacity – As part of the full pulmonary function test, this determines the amount of air a patient can inhale and exhale.
  • Max Voluntary Ventilation (MVV) – Measures the maximum amount of air that can be inhaled and exhaled in one minute and your lung muscle strength.
  • Oximetry – Checks the level of oxygen in your blood without having to draw blood.

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