Pediatrics: Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine

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Pulmonary Function Testing Laboratory

The Pulmonary Function Lab at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin performs a wide range of lung function testing for infants, children, and adults in a child-friendly environment.  The lab has comprehensive state-of-art facilities for performing and interpreting lung function tests.  The lab is registered with the American Thoracic Society.

Pulmonary function tests for children can be a challenge. Getting accurate results can be difficult. We make special efforts to make these tests fun for our patients.

A pulmonary function test is a breathing test. It gives information about how well the lungs are working. These tests may be done when a person has shortness of breath, trouble breathing, or coughs frequently. The test results may help the provider to diagnose and treat breathing problems.

The child must be able to follow simple directions about breathing and blowing. Cooperation is very important to obtain good test results. Most 5-year-olds and some younger children can do the easier tests. Other testing will depend on the age and cooperation of the child.

Outpatient and inpatient services include:

  • Spirometry
    • Pre- and post-bronchodilator spirometry
    • Positional spirometry
  • Lung volumes
  • Diffusion capacity
  • Exhaled nitric oxide analysis
  • Maximal respiratory pressures
  • Six-minute walk
  • Bronchial challenges
    • Methacholine challenge
    • Exercise challenge
    • Cold air challenge
  • Exercise physiology study
  • Infant/toddler pulmonary function test
  • Metabolic study
  • Education in use of MDIs/spacers, airway clearance techniques
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Page Updated 12/01/2014