Spirometry is the basic examination for the assessment of respiratory system function. It is a valuable examination both in the diagnosis and in the monitoring of various lung diseases.
It is a painless examination that requires the patient’s cooperation as he breathes through a mouthpiece that is connected to the spirometer device.
The patient should inhale deeply and exhale sharply, loudly and for at least 6 seconds until all the air is “emptied” from the lungs.
It is necessary to make 3 good technical attempts to obtain the average result. A technically poor spirometry can give a wrong measurement.
Spirometry gives us information about the volume and the flow of the air in the lungs. The numerical values obtained are compared with the predictive values that exist for all people, based on gender, age, race, height and weight. By determining the parameters mentioned it is possible to diagnose the type of lung disease, its severity and to monitor the response to the inhalation medications.
Spirometry should be done when:
- You are a smoker, especially over 40 years of age
- You have a cough
- You feel shortness of breath, or chest tightness
- When you have wheezing during breathing
- When you suffer from a known lung disease (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis, interstitial lung diseases, etc.)
- Screening- before receive medications that can affect the lung function
- Preoperative respiratory function evaluation in surgeries under general anesthesia
Spirometry before and after bronchodilation: The reversibility test after the administration of salbutamol in inhalation and waiting 15-20 minutes for the second spirometry to check if there is reversibility. The test is positive by improving the FEV1 or FVC of 12% and more than 200ml.