What is body plethysmography (pulmonary function test)?

Body plethysmography is a pulmonary (lung-related) function test that determines how much air is in your lungs after you take in a deep breath. It also measures the amount of air left in your lungs after you exhale as much as you can. This test gives healthcare providers information about how well your lungs are functioning and helps guide them in your plan of care.

Why is body plethysmography used?

  • To compare your lung function with known standards that show how well your lungs should be working
  • To measure the effect of chronic diseases (such as chronic obstructive lung disease, cystic fibrosis or asthma) on lung function
  • To detect early changes in lung function that might show a need for a change in treatment
  • To determine whether exposure to substances in your home or work environment have damaged your lungs
  • To determine your ability to tolerate surgery and medical procedures

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/27/2018.

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