Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT)

What are Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT)?

Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT) are noninvasive tests that measure how well your lungs are working as well as the muscles that move your lungs. It measures lung volume, capacity, rates of flow, and gas exchange.

PFT measures the following:

  • Tidal volume (VT): Amount of air inhaled or exhaled during normal breathing.
  • Minute volume (MV): Total amount of air exhaled per minute.
  • Vital capacity (VC): total volume of air that can be exhaled after inhaling as much as you can.
  • Functional residual capacity (FRC): Amount of air left in lungs after exhaling normally.
  • Residual volume: Amount of air left in the lungs after exhaling as much as you can.
  • Total lung capacity: Total volume of the lungs when filled with as much air as possible.
  • Forced vital capacity (FVC): Amount of air exhaled forcefully and quickly after inhaling as much as you can.
  • Forced expiratory volume (FEV): Amount of air expired during the first, second, and third seconds of the FVC test.
  • Forced expiratory flow (FEF): Average rate of flow during the middle half of the FVC test.
  • Peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR): Fastest rate that you can force air out of your lungs.


The conditions most commonly requiring Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT) include, but not limited to:

Who needs Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT)?

You may need Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT):

  • if you’re having symptoms of lung problems
  • if you’re regularly exposed to certain substances in the environment or workplace
  • to monitor the course of chronic lung diseases, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • to assess how well your lungs are working before you have surgery

Find out if Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT)
are right for you

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