picture Spirometry (spirometry) is one of the methods for diagnosing external respiration. The study helps to measure the volume, speed of inhalation and exhalation of air by the lungs. The study is carried out using a special medical device spirometer. The method allows diagnosing bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), assessing the general condition of the respiratory system. What you need to know about the procedure, what are the indications / contraindications and how informative are the diagnostic results?

General characteristics of spirography

Diagnosis of the function of external respiration is an obligatory component of a general clinical examination. It is carried out to monitor the state of health approximately 1-2 times a year. For patients who are at risk, the time frame may be narrower. Spirometry helps to identify pathologies of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Additionally, the method strengthens / develops the skill of correct breathing.

The study is absolutely safe and painless. As a rule, the patient does not feel pain, significant discomfort and other unpleasant sensations. Possible side effects are increased heart rate and tremors in the limbs. This condition is temporary and does not require medical attention. Symptoms go away on their own after a few minutes or hours after the study. It is extremely rare that bronchospasm or an intense coughing fit occur during spirometry. Symptoms interfere with diagnosis and require prompt medical attention. The patient should not worry about the state of health, since the medical staff will be nearby and will be able to stop the attack in time.

  • General characteristics of spirography
  • Rules for preparing for spirography
  • How is the research going?

Diagnosis is carried out using a spirometer. This is a special medical device that records the volume of air coming from the lungs during maximum expiration after maximum inspiration. The device consists of a sensor that reacts to the air flow and computer systems that determine the characteristics of the air and convert them into a digital format.

When deciphering the results, it is important to take into account the age of the patient, since the norms and diseases differ in different age categories.

Can spirography be called the most accurate and informative method? The quality of the result depends on a whole list of factors. These include the serviceability of the equipment, the specifics of the spirometer settings, the clarity of the patient's instructions, and the research technique itself. The most common mistake patients make is breathing through the nose. The success of diagnostics depends on the coordinated actions of each of the participants in the process. The main thing is to trust the doctor and strictly follow his instructions.

Which doctor evaluates lung function? It depends on the individual characteristics of the patient and his disease. Most often, spirometry is used in cardiology, pulmonology and allergology. It is best to consult a general practitioner, pass a basic list of tests and undergo a comprehensive diagnosis of the body. After the therapist identifies the underlying disease, a referral to a narrowly specialized specialist is possible.

Indications Contraindications
Violation of the functionality of the respiratory system (pneumonia, tracheitis, chronic non-specific lung pathologies, allergic rhinitis, etc.) Pneumothorax (accumulation of gases or air in the pleural space that surrounds the lung)
Diagnosis of the nature of lung diseases (obstructive or restrictive) Bleeding from the respiratory system
Increased risk of developing pathologies of the respiratory system (the risk group includes smokers, allergies and employees of hazardous industries) Hypertensive crisis (a severe emergency in which blood pressure rises much higher than normal)
Determination of exercise tolerance/ventilatory capacity Myocardial infarction (one of the forms of coronary heart disease, characterized by heart failure blood supply)
Monitoring the general condition of the respiratory organs before / after surgery or a therapeutic course Aortic dissection (rupture of the largest artery, in which blood flows between the layers of the walls of the aorta and provokes more damage)
Chronic cough, shortness of breath, other abnormalities of the respiratory system Ischemic (impaired cerebral circulation) or hemorrhagic (impaired intracerebral circulation) stroke
Violation of gas exchange (abnormal content of oxygen or carbon dioxide in the blood) Inappropriate behavior of the patient, mental or psycho-emotional disorders (the patient simply will not be able to follow the doctor's instructions, so the diagnosis will be uninformative)
The first six weeks after ophthalmic / in-band surgery (in the post-rehabilitation period, some body parameters may differ from the norm)

The need for spirography is determined only by the attending physician. Even preventive diagnostics requires prior consultation and referral of a specialist.

Rules for preparing for spirography

To get the most accurate result, the patient must take into account some preparatory manipulations. Active physical activity should be avoided the day before spirography. It is better to refuse intensive cardio or strength training in the gym, replacing them with yoga, stretching, or limit yourself to quick morning exercises. For 4 hours before the procedure, it is forbidden to smoke, and for 2 - to eat food. You should also stop using medications that can cause bronchial dilation. If necessary, the doctor himself will suggest an individually selected medicine. If it is impossible to cancel therapy, then the results are evaluated taking into account the characteristics of the patient and the functions of his respiratory system. The day before the study, it is recommended to replace tea / coffee / other caffeinated drinks with regular filtered water or freshly squeezed juice. Immediately before the start of the study, it is better loosen a tie, belt, remove jewelry that interferes with free inhalation and exhalation. Typically, the patient is given 15 to 30 minutes to adjust, relax, listen to the briefing, and tune in to the spirography.

How is the research going?

The patient sits in a comfortable chair, listens to a short briefing, after which the doctor proceeds to the manipulations. A mouthpiece is inserted into the oral cavity (a rubber part of the breathing apparatus, which is placed between the teeth and lips), a clamp is put on the nose so that the apparatus records only oral breathing. The specialist connects a tube to the mouthpiece, through which air will move to the spirometer. As soon as all the elements are fixed, the doctor turns on the device.

The patient is obliged to strictly listen to the specialist, hold his breath, breathe deeply, make certain intervals between inhalation / exhalation and a number of other tasks. The result of the diagnosis depends on the correct implementation of the doctor's instructions. In some cases, the same test has to be repeated several times in order to eliminate the error and achieve maximum information content. Ultimately, the average of all spirometry results is taken into account.

In some cases, a test with a bronchodilator drug is used. The test helps to diagnose bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the dynamics of obstruction. Airway obstruction is a syndrome of obstruction of the respiratory tract. It can develop at any level - from the bronchioles to the pharynx. Signs of the syndrome include a strong dry, dull cough, a hoarse cry, a decrease in the volume of the neck (it literally retracts inward), a decrease in the volume of the chest. After standard spirography, the patient is asked to inhale the drug in the required dosage, wait for it to spread, and repeat the study. So the doctor will be able to track the reaction of the bronchi to the drug - whether the obstruction has decreased or the situation has remained unchanged.

It takes about 5-15 minutes to process the results. The specialist will analyze the information received, make a diagnosis, draw up a therapeutic course and notify the patient about it.

Main diagnostic indicators

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VC - vital capacity of the lungs. This is the maximum volume of air that the lungs can hold after a full exhalation. The indicator is divided into three groups - tidal volume, inspiratory and expiratory reserve volume. Tidal volume is measured during quiet breathing. Its average is 500 cm³. The expiratory reserve volume is fixed on an additional breath after a quiet exhalation, the expiratory volume - on an additional exhalation after a quiet exhalation. Both indicators are on average equal to 1500 cm³.

The vital capacity of the lungs of an average adult is 3500 cm³.

Another diagnostic indicator is FVC. This is the difference between the volumes of air at the start and end points of a forced exhalation (the fastest, deepest exhalation after a maximum inhalation). FEV1 is the forced expiratory volume in the first second of forced expiration. Tiffno index - the percentage of FVC / FEV1. Sensitive airway index. Normally it is 70-75%. POS - Peak Volume Velocity (maximum flow that the patient can achieve on expiration). MOS - the speed of air flow at the moment of incomplete exhalation.

Spirometry (spirography) is a standard method for diagnosing lung function. The method is used both for preventive and diagnostic purposes. The procedure itself is quick, painless and practically does not provoke side effects. Go through the diagnostics only as prescribed by the doctor and be healthy!

Things to know (Q&A)

What is the difference between spirometry and spirometer?

A spirometer is a diagnostic device that measures the amount of air you're able to breathe in and out and the time it takes you to exhale completely after you take a deep breath. A spirometry test requires you to breathe into a tube attached to a machine called a spirometer .

What are the two types of spirometry?

The spirogram will identify two different types of abnormal ventilation patterns, obstructive and restrictive .

What is spirometer spirometry and a spirogram?

Spirometry also provides a measure of airway resistance by use of the forced expiratory volume test . The clinical spirogram presents the forced vital capacity differently. In laminar flow, pressure necessary to drive flow increases linearly with the flow.

What is spirometry used for?

Spirometry is the most common type of pulmonary function or breathing test. This test measures how much air you can breathe in and out of your lungs, as well as how easily and fast you can the blow the air out of your lungs . Your doctor may order spirometry if you have wheezing, shortness of breath, or a cough.

What is the difference between a spirometer and an incentive spirometer?

An incentive spirometer is different from the spirometer used to test your lung function. An incentive spirometer is a simpler device meant for at-home use. It doesn't measure breath volume or lung function

What is the difference between a spirometer and a peak flow meter?

A spirometer assesses a patient's lung function, however, it offers a larger set of parametric values regarding lung health than a peak flow meter does . Spirometry requires a patient to perform specific breathing maneuvers using a spirometer.

Is spirogram and spirometry same?

Spirometry. A tracing of the relationship between maximal expiratory airflow and time, termed a spirogram , is the most common measure of ventilatory lung function. It is used to make a preliminary diagnostic assessment or to monitor patients as lung or cardiac disease evolves and responds to treatment.

What is the spirogram?

Overview. Spirometry (spy-ROM-uh-tree) is a common office test used to assess how well your lungs work by measuring how much air you inhale, how much you exhale and how quickly you exhale . Spirometry is used to diagnose asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other conditions that affect breathin

What is spirometry a spirometer and a spirogram quizlet?

-Spirometry is the most commonly used pulmonary function test. - It measures the volume of airflow and/or the rate of air flow (volume/time) during inhalation and exhalation. Define spirogram. - Any graph generated by performing spirometry is called a spirogram . You just studied 60 terms!

What is spirometry and PFT?

Pulmonary function tests (PFT's) are breathing tests to find out how well you move air in and out of your lungs and how well oxygen enters your blood stream . The most common PFT's are spirometry (spy-RAH-me-tree), diffusion studies, and body plethysmography (ple-thiz-MA-gra-fee).

What conditions can be diagnosed with spirometry?

Spirometry is used to diagnose asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other conditions that affect breathing . Spirometry may also be used periodically to monitor your lung condition and check whether a treatment for a chronic lung condition is helping you breathe better.

What is a good reading on a spirometer?

Your result is considered “normal” if your score is 80 percent or more of the predicted value . Spirometry measures two key factors: expiratory forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1).