Temple University Health System

Pulmonary Diagnostic Services

Temple University Hospital - Episcopal Campus offers a variety of on-site pulmonary diagnostic tests for patients suffering from shortness of breath and other unspecified lung problems.

A single visit to our facility ranges from 30 to 90 minutes. The results of your test will be interpreted by the physicians at the renowned Temple Lung Center — recently named one of the best pulmonary departments in America by U.S. News & World Report — and sent to your primary care doctor within one week.

All of our therapists are licensed respiratory care practitioners who are additionally certified or registered in respiratory therapy.

To schedule an appointment for pulmonary diagnostic services at Episcopal Campus, please call 215-707-0662.

We currently offer the following services:

Spirometry
Considered the "gold standard" for diagnosing asthma, emphysema and COPD, spirometry is the first test that most people with shortness of breath will undergo. During spirometry, patients breathe into a machine that measures the speed of their respiration.

Bronchospasm Evaluation
During bronchospasm evaluation, patients undergo the spirometry test before and after using an inhaler. This test is helpful for distinguishing between similar conditions. For example, asthma is likely to respond to the inhaler, whereas emphysema is not.

Functional Residual Capacity
This test can diagnose obstructive or restrictive pulmonary diseases by measuring the total amount of air a person can breathe in and out. With obstructive diseases like asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis, air gets trapped inside the lungs causing people to inhale more than they exhale. Restrictive diseases like pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung disease and morbid obesity decrease the overall amount of air that a person can breathe in.

Diffusion Capacity
This test measures how effectively oxygen is getting into the patient's blood. Patients inhale a non-toxic "test gas" that behaves similarly to oxygen. When the patients exhale, their breath is tested for levels of the test gas, to see how much was absorbed into the blood. This test can detect conditions such as emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung disease and sarcoidosis.

Respiratory Muscle Strength Test
Some breathing problems are due to weakened muscles in the respiratory system. For example, people lacking respiratory muscle strength might not be able to take deep breaths or clear their throats. This test is similar to spirometry but includes a special valve that forces the patient to apply pressure as he or she inhales and exhales. Possible diagnosable conditions include neuromuscular problems or diaphragm paralysis.

Six Minute Walk Test
During this test, patients walk for six minutes at their own pace while a machine measures their heart rate, shortness of breath and oxygen levels. Medicare typically requires this test to determine if at-home oxygen is needed, and in what amount.

Arterial Puncture
During this test, blood is drawn from an artery in the wrist and tested for levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide, bicarbonate and hemoglobin. If these levels are off, it can signal the possibility of kidney problems, anemia and other conditions.

To schedule an appointment for pulmonary diagnostic services at Episcopal Campus, please call 215-707-0662.

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