Pulmonary Functions tests (PFT) is a group of non-invasive diagnostic tests that evaluate how well your lungs are functioning. These tests measure various aspects of lung function, including lung capacity, airflow rates, gas exchange efficiency, and respiratory muscle strength.

PFT assess respiratory health by evaluating the functionality of the lungs and identifying various respiratory conditions. Here are some key aspects of their role:

Diagnosis of respiratory conditions: PFTs help in diagnosing various respiratory conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and restrictive lung diseases.

Assessment of lung function: PFTs measure lung volumes, (tidal volume, inspiratory reserve volume, expiratory reserve volume, and residual volume) and lung capacities (such as vital capacity, functional residual capacity, and total lung capacity) which help the clinicians understand how well the lungs are functioning.

Airflow obstruction detection: PFTs can detect airflow obstruction/ limitation, which is characteristic of conditions like asthma and COPD. Parameters such as forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and the FEV1/FVC (forced vital capacity) ratio are important in diagnosing and monitoring these conditions.

Monitoring disease progression: PFTs are valuable to monitor the progression of a respiratory disease over a period of time. Serial measurements before and after also help to assess the therapeutic response and efficacy of  treatment.

Preoperative evaluation: PFTs are performed before major surgeries, especially those involving the chest or respiratory system  to assess the fitness of the patient for surgery. Evaluation of lung function helps to identify any underlying respiratory issue that could affect the surgical outcome.

Assessment of disability: In cases of respiratory disability claims, PFTs can provide objective data regarding lung function impairment. This is important in aiding the assessment of disability severity and associated limitations.

Overall, PFTs provide valuable insights into lung function and play a significant role in diagnosing, managing and monitoring various respiratory conditions.