Spirography

Spirography is a diagnostic method used to measure lung function. The test is performed to determine the amount of air a patient inhales and exhales over specific time intervals, as well as the maximum volume of air the lungs can hold.

Indications

The procedure is used to detect chronic bronchial and lung diseases, diagnose and properly assess their severity, and study their progression. Spirometry may be used in:

  • Pneumonia;
  • Bronchitis;
  • Asthma;
  • Obstructive and restrictive lung diseases;
  • Chest deformities;
  • Spinal deformities (scoliosis);
  • Before or after lung or chest surgery.

Test Procedure

The test is straightforward, and a spirometry session typically lasts no more than 10-15 minutes. During the examination, the patient sits on a chair, and the physician clips the patient's nose with a nasal clip, allowing them to breathe only through the mouth via a flexible tube connected to the spirometer. The patient begins by breathing normally, then inhales and exhales to the fullest, slower, faster, deeper, harder, etc.

The information is recorded by the apparatus, displayed graphically and digitally on a computer screen. This determines the volume of air in the lungs at various points during breathing, as well as the minimum and maximum volumes of inhaled and exhaled air per second. Spirography results are instantaneous and typically expressed as percentages relative to ideal function, determined by age, height, and weight.

Spirography can be performed on both children and adults. A healthy individual can undergo the test at any time, while individuals suffering from lung diseases should undergo it regularly, as recommended by their treating physician.

Before the test, it is advisable to avoid consuming heavy meals and acidic foods, as well as smoking for at least 4-5 hours prior to the test. Choose loose clothing that won't cause discomfort during inhalation and exhalation.

If a patient has asthma and is taking bronchodilators or inhaled corticosteroids and wishes to undergo spirometry, it is advisable to discontinue medication intake at least 6, 12, or 24 hours before the test, depending on the duration of the medication's action.

It is important to note that spirometry is contraindicated for individuals suffering from recent myocardial infarction or stroke; individuals with severe heart diseases or experiencing chest pain or palpitations. Additionally, if a patient has recently undergone chest or abdominal surgery or has hemoptysis, spirometry will be temporarily prohibited.