Pulmonary Function Laboratory

The Washington University Pulmonary Function Laboratory at the Center for Advanced Medicine specializes in state-of-the-art pulmonary function (PFT) and cardio-pulmonary exercise testing (CPET), and is one of the largest and busiest laboratories in the St. Louis area.

The laboratory is completely equipped for clinical and research-oriented testing and is staffed with eight full-time technicians and board certified physicians. Annually, more than 9,000 pulmonary function studies are performed on patients with a wide range of health concerns.

Our pulmonary function laboratory follows American Thoracic Society guidelines for all procedures and prides itself on its efficiency, professionalism and quality of care. PFT equipment is also available on the South Campus of Barnes-Jewish Hospital for inpatients requiring pulmonary function testing.

Pulmonary function testing (PFT)

Routine pulmonary function testing (spirometry, lung volume determination and diffusing capacity) is performed using computerized Care Fusion V-MAX plethysmographic systems. Bronchodilator responsiveness and bronchial provocation with methacholine are adjunctive studies regularly employed.

The laboratory commonly performs walking oxygen assessments for exercise oxygen prescriptions and exercise oxygenation evaluations with arterial blood gas sampling. The lab also performs more specialized testing like: maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures, maximal minute ventilation, fractionated airway resistance by impulse oscillometry, oxygen shunt studies and hypoxia simulation for pre-flight prescriptions.

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Cardio-pulmonary exercise testing (CPET)

Formal cardiopulmonary exercise testing is performed using cycle ergometer associated with a MedGraphics CardiO2 system. Arterial blood gas analysis is routine performed prior to exercise and after achievement of the anaerobic threshold. The CPET is utilized to evaluate unexplained dyspnea or as a preoperative risk assessment prior to scheduled cardiothoracic surgery.