How spirometry is used to measure pulmonary airflow, lung volumes, and lung capacities.
Spirometry is one of the primary Pulmonary Funtion Tests (PFT) used to check the health of the lungs and respiratory passageways. When a spirometry test is performed, the subject breathes through an mechanical or electronic airflow sensor called a spirometer. A recording of a subject’s airflow is referred to as a spirogram.
The amount of air in the lungs can be subdivided into four (4) volumes and four (4) capacities. The four volumes include tidal volume, inspiratory reserve volume, expiratory reserve volume and residual volume. The four capacities include inspiratory capacity, functional reserve capacity, vital capacity, and total lung capacity.
Forced Vital Capacity (FVC or FVC6) and Forced Expiratory Volume in one second (FEV1) are two pulmonary function tests that determine the health of the respiratory airways and lung tissues.