Indications and Contraindications
Spirometry is mainly used to diagnose and follow up lung pathologies.
It is generally a safe test but few contraindications exist.
The main indications for a spirometry test are:
- to show the presence or absence of lung dysfunctions
- to assess severity of known lung disease
- to assess change of lung function in function of time or in function of therapy
- to assess the potential effect of occupational or environmental exposure
- to assess the potential risk for surgical interventions that can effect lung function
- to assess disability
Spirometry is generally a safe test. However, some contraindications exist:
- hemoptysis of unknown cause
- unstable cardiovascular status
- recent myocardial infarctation or pulmonary embolism
- thoracic, abdominal or cerebral aneurism (risk of rupture because the increased intrathoracic pressure during forced expiration)
- recent ocular surgery (eg. cataract)
- nausea, vomiting
- recent thoracic or abdominal surgery
Acute infection of airways or lungs is not a contraindication per se, but it is rarely useful to perform a lung function test in these cases, since the results will be affected by the acute infection.