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Spirometry

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Updated April 17, 2012

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Definition: Spirometry (the measuring of breath) is the most common of the pulmonary function tests and uses an instrument called a spirometer to measure the amount of air entering and leaving the lungs. The test is often used to help doctors diagnose and determine the severity of COPD.

During the test, which can easily be performed in a doctor's office, the patient takes a deep breath and exhales completely. Results of the test are then recorded and analyzed by the spirometer machine, and interpreted by your doctor.

Learn more about spirometry by reading the following:

Pronunciation: spi·rom·a·tree
Also Known As: pulmonary function test, breathing test
Examples:
My aunt went for her spirometry test yesterday.

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