After completing this course, you will be able to

  • Describe the history of pulmonary function testing and tests used to assess pulmonary function.
  • Identify subdivisions of the expiratory spirogram, including forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and FEV1 / FVC%.
  • Evaluate lung health and recognize that deviations from normal reflect the effects of a variety of diseases.
  • Use the inhalation challenge test to uncover subtle respiratory dysfunction and know when to use more specialized lung function tests.
  • Measure dynamic compliance with helium-oxygen flow curves and the nitrogen washout test to investigate small airway function.
  • Analyze the efficiency of gas exchange using diffusing capacity.
  • Differentiate between obstructive and restrictive disorders, and diseases that affect the lungs versus those that affect related structures.
  • Apply standard pulmonary function test interpretation guidelines.
  • Interpret results according to the demographics of your patients.

Course downloads

Course Handbook

Chapter 1

The background

Get off to a running start. Here, you’ll cover the historical basis of pulmonary function testing, and the principal tests used in the assessment of known or suspected lung disease.
4 Lessons (10m 16s)
Chapter 2

The basic techniques

In this chapter, you’ll review important techniques used in measuring various aspects of lung function, including airflow, lung volumes, and changes in lung volumes.
5 Lessons (18m 02s)
Chapter 3

Evaluating the lungs at rest

Understand the static mechanical properties of the respiratory system. In this chapter, you’ll go deep into the relationship between volume and pressure at times of no airflow.
4 Lessons (9m 49s)
Chapter 4

Assessing breathing

Here, you’ll concentrate on the relationships between pressure, flow, and volume during inspiration and expiration, and how to use these measurements to detect disease.
5 Lessons (16m 06s)
Chapter 5

Challenging the airways

In this chapter, you’ll learn how to use various challenge tests to detect subtle disorders of respiratory function, such as cough-variant asthma or exercise-induced asthma.
5 Lessons (10m 34s)
Chapter 6

Checking small airways function

Take the road less travelled. Learn about less commonly used tests that can help you detect subtle disorders of respiratory function, such as disease isolated to the small airways.
4 Lessons (12m 53s)
Chapter 7

Analyzing gas exchange

Here, you’ll learn how to analyze factors that determine the efficiency of gas transfer, particularly oxygen, across the alveolar-capillary membrane, and the test methods used.
4 Lessons (14m 37s)
Chapter 8

Using specialized lung function tests

Learn how to use additional pulmonary function tests, such as (HAST), the six-minute walk test, and testing respiratory responses to high carbon dioxide / low oxygen levels.
4 Lessons (9m 24s)
Chapter 9

Diagnosing respiratory disorders

Here, you’ll learn how to interpret patterns of pulmonary function test abnormalities, and cover important guidelines issued by American and European professional societies.
4 Lessons (13m 31s)
Chapter 10

Practicing your skills

Breathe a sigh of relief as you finish off strong. Wrap up the course with a recommended algorithm, and clinical cases where you can practice your interpretation skills.
3 Lessons (3m 42s)