If you're having trouble breathing, an early diagnosis of any problem with your lungs improves your odds of successful treatment. Your primary care doctor can refer you to a Rush pulmonologist, who may order pulmonary function testing.
Pulmonary function testing specialists at Rush use leading-edge tools and technology to diagnose and monitor every kind of lung disease, from asthma and shortness of breath to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), symptoms after COVID-19 infection and more.
Types of Pulmonary Function Testing Available at Rush
- Arterial blood gas testing uses a small blood sample to measure the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood. This helps your doctor see how well your lungs get oxygen into your blood when you inhale, and remove carbon dioxide when you exhale.
- Bronchoscopy lets your doctor examine your airway using a small camera at the end of a flexible tube, threaded through your nose or mouth.
- Cardiopulmonary exercise testing evaluates symptoms that arise during physical activity.
- Maximum inspiratory and expiratory pressure (MIP/MEP) measurements show the strength of your respiratory muscles by having you inhale and exhale through your mouth as forcefully as you can.
- Sniff inspiratory negative pressure (SNIP) measurement is another way to show the strength of the muscles you use to breathe; in a SNIP test, you inhale through your nose as forcefully as you can.
- A six-minute walk test measures how far you're able to walk at your normal pace on a flat surface for six minutes.
- Spirometry is similar to MIP/MEP testing; it measures the amount of air you can breathe in or blow out, and how quickly and easily you breathe.
- Impulse oscillometry is a procedure that uses sound waves to measure your lung function during your normal breathing; it might be used if it's not easy for you to complete spirometry tests.
Rush Excellence in Pulmonary Function Testing
- The latest diagnostic tools: Rush uses a comprehensive set of state-of-the-art tools and technology for measuring how efficiently air flows into your lungs, how much air you're able to take in (lung capacity), how well your body receives oxygen from your lungs and other factors that have an effect on your breathing. This information helps your physician diagnose your breathing problem and measure how well your treatment is working.
- Convenient on-site testing: If you've been diagnosed with a lung disease like COPD or cystic fibrosis, regular pulmonary function testing helps your care team measure your progress and adjust your care plan. On-site labs in five Rush locations (four for adults and one for children) mean you can be tested right before your appointment and can talk about the results with your care team immediately.
- Specialists who focus on you: Our technicians are all registered pulmonary function testing technicians who have achieved the highest level of training. They specialize in pulmonary function testing and are experts in making sure you stay comfortable during every test.
- Testing for kids: The Pediatric Pulmonary Function Lab at Rush University Medical Center is one of few labs in Chicago offering diagnostic testing for kids ages 3 to 18 with lung disorders. The team can diagnose asthma in children as young as 3, enabling early intervention that can make a big difference for your child's quality of life.
- Pulmonary rehabilitation at Rush: If your doctor thinks you'll benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation, Rush Oak Park Hospital's 10- to 12-week pulmonary rehabilitation program can help you breathe more easily — and you'll experience seamless, coordinated care by staying in the Rush System.