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Respiratory Studies


(Please note: Pensioners and Healthcare cardholders will be bulk billed for Respiratory Function Tests except for Bronchial Provocation Tests)


1. Spirometry and Transfer factor

This is the most commonly used combination of tests to screen for lung disease.


Spirometry is the most commonly used lung function screening study. These results may be helpful in a wide range of respiratory presentations such as cough, wheezing and dyspnoea, to monitor response to asthma treatment, to assess fitness for strenuous exercise programs or to investigate and track the impact of smoking on lung health.


Transfer factor of carbon monoxide (DLCO) is a measure of the gas exchange of the lung involving the interaction of alveolar surface area, alveolar capillary perfusion, the physical properties of the alveolar capillary interface, capillary volume, hemoglobin concentration, and the reaction rate of carbon monoxide and hemoglobin. It is reduced in interstitial lung disease, emphysema, atelectasis, pulmonary vascular disease including pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary emboli and anaemia.


2. Plethysmographic lung volumes

Total lung capacity and functional residual capacity are measured by body plethysmography. The primary advantage of body plethysmography is that it can measure the total volume of air in the chest, including gas trapped in bullae. This information is helpful in conjunction with spirometry when diseases of lung tissue are suspected.


3. Bronchial provocation tests

To define whether airway hyperreactivity is the explanation for respiratory symptoms of unclear origin, inhalational challenge tests may be used. Bronchial hyperreactivity, as assessed by an inhalational challenge procedure, is sensitive for the presence of active or current asthma. However, this test may be falsely positive in a variety of conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, recent upper respiratory tract infection, and allergic rhinitis. A negative test is an excellent means of excluding asthma as a cause of symptoms.


4. Maximal Respiratory pressures

These tests measure the strength of the muscles used to breathe. Respiratory muscle dysfunction (i.e. reduced strength or endurance) provides complementary information to spirometry and lung volumes. Maximal inspiratory pressure measures diaghragmatic strength while maximal expiratory pressure measures expiratory muscle strength. These are reduced in patients with neuromuscular disorders.













Sleep Studies

Sleep studies are generally conducted in a hospital, however, technology changes have made it possible for record comprehensive, quality sleep study at home using a portable monitoring.  For selected patients, having a home based study may be an alternative.



Products to be avoided prior to testing
Routine testing Bronchial Provocation testing
Short acting bronchodilator (Ventolin, Bricanyl, Atrovent, Asmol) 6 hours 8 hours
LABA (Serevent, Foradile, Oxis, Onbrez, Anoro) 12 hours 24 hours
LAMA (Spiriva, Genuair, Seebri, Incruz, Anoro) 24 hours 24 hours
Combination steroid/LABA (Seretide, Symbicort, flutiform, ellipta) 24 hours 24 hours
Antihistamine (Zyrtec, Telfast, Claratyne etc.) N/A 72 hours
Caffeine N/A Day of Test
Theophylline (Nuelin, Theodur) N/A
Melbourne Respiratory and Sleep Services

Melbourne Respiratory & Sleep Services

226 Burgundy St,
Heidelberg, VIC 3084


Monday - Friday: 9:00am to 5:00pm

Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Phone: (03) 9459 0555

Fax: (03) 9455 0786