Respiratory testing is a group of tests that measure how well the body moves gases from the air into the lungs and body. Kadlec performs several tests to help assess your pulmonary (lung) function.
Asthma Testing and Education
We offer asthma education classes for everyone, from those newly diagnosed to those who have had asthma for years but need more information.
We offer education on many topics, including:
- Proper medication technique
- Trigger identification
- Peak flow use and tracking
- Identifying asthma symptoms
- Medication use and management
- How to use an asthma action plan
Bronchial stress testing can help diagnose Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm (EIB). It’s also used to assess breathlessness in patients with a history of asthma symptoms who are suspected of having EIB.
You may need this testing:
- If you are breathless when exerting yourself
- If you have asthma symptoms that can’t be diagnosed with other tests
- To assess how well your current treatment plan is working
During testing you will be hooked up to monitoring equipment and breathe through a special mouthpiece while exercising on a bike or treadmill. A spirometry test (blowing forcefully through a mouthpiece) is done before and after testing.
Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test
This test safely measures how the heart and lungs perform under stress. This helps determine if a patient’s symptoms are due to poor fitness or to a medical problem such as heart or lung disease.
You may need this test to evaluate for:
- Undiagnosed exercise intolerance
- Cardiovascular disease or respiratory disease
- Lung or heart-lung transplant
The test may also be done before having surgery, before prescribing pulmonary rehabilitation or for industrial and sports evaluations.
During testing, you will be hooked up to monitoring equipment and breathe through a specialized mouthpiece. You will be asked to exercise on a bike or treadmill to your maximum ability. Blood samples will be taken before and during testing.
Methacholine Challenge Testing
This test helps determine airway irritability. You may need this test to:
- Rule out a diagnosis of airway hyperactivity (oversensitivity)
- Evaluate occupational asthma
- Check how sensitive and reactive your airways are
- Assess how well your current treatments are working
During the test, you will inhale a mist containing different concentrations of methacholine. The mist is produced by a device called a nebulizer and inhaled through a mouthpiece. Before the test begins, and after each period of inhalation, you will be asked to blow forcefully into a spirometer. The test usually takes about an hour.
Pulmonary Function Testing
Pulmonary function tests measure the amount of air in your lungs and how fast you can move air through your airways. This can help pinpoint the presence of respiratory illness as well as its cause, characteristics and location.
- Pulmonary function testing can be used to:
- Assess risk for surgery
- Screen individuals at risk for pulmonary disease
- Evaluate presence of lung disease
- Evaluate extent of lung damage
- Assess how well your current treatments are working
- Evaluate disability impairment
During testing you will be seated. You’ll be asked to breathe in and out in different patterns through a mouthpiece. You might be asked to inhale a medicine called albuterol as well.
Rest and Exercise Oximetry
Rest and exercise oximetry helps test blood oxygen levels to determine if you might need supplemental oxygen to use at home. It can be helpful:
- To check whether blood oxygen levels are dropping during activity or exercise
- To see how well current treatment is working
- As a preoperative assessment for lung resection or transplant
- To pinpoint the amount of supplemental oxygen needed during activity
- To assess degree of impairment for disability evaluation (e.g., pneumoconiosis, asbestosis)
During testing you will be asked to walk along a corridor. Your oxygen level and heart rate will be monitored as you exercise. If your levels drop during the test, you may be placed on oxygen or your oxygen will be increased (if already wearing) to obtain an oxygen saturation of 93%.
If you qualify for home oxygen you will be asked to choose from a list of home care providers and given their contact information before your appointment is complete. We will let the home care company know that you need oxygen and they will contact you to arrange delivery of all equipment. You will not be given equipment at the time of your appointment.
Six-Minute Walk Test
Six-minute walk testing assesses your functional exercise levels for daily activities. The object of the test is to walk as far as possible in six minutes.
The walk test may be useful for:
- Pre- and post-intervention assessment
- Assessment of functional status
- Home oxygen assessment
The object of this test is to walk as far as possible for six minutes. You will walk back and forth in a hallway. Six minutes is a long time to walk, so you will be exerting yourself. You will probably get out of breath or become exhausted. You can slow down, stop and rest as needed.
You will be asked to wear/use your personal oxygen equipment during testing if this is part of your normal routine.
You may need to stop testing if you experience:
- Chest pain
- Intolerable dyspnea (difficulty breathing)
- Leg cramps
- Heavy sweating
- Pale or ashen appearance
- Blood oxygen saturation less than 88%
You may receive a copy of your test results by contacting the Health Information Department at 509-946-4611, ext: 2017.