Pulmonary Diagnostics Laboratory

Between the wheezes, sneezes, and shortness of breath, your child’s physician suspects a pulmonary disorder — a condition that affects the lungs and breathing.

The physician is pretty sure they know what the diagnosis it, but they need to confirm it in order to start your child on the best treatment plan.

And that’s where the Pulmonary Diagnostics Lab comes in.

The state-of-the-art Pulmonary Diagnostics Lab at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center provides testing for many different respiratory, cardiac, and metabolic disorders. We are the only medical center in the area to offer several of these tests.

Children’s is also the only medical center in the region that focuses solely on pediatrics. Since symptoms of certain diseases may be different in children than adults, and diagnostic tests often need to be altered to fit children’s physical and emotional needs, all of our practitioners have experience and training specifically in the field of pediatric pulmonology.

Tests & Procedures

The specialists at our Pulmonology Diagnostics Lab are specially trained to provide a variety of pulmonary tests and procedures:

  • Body Box Testing (Plethysmography)

    Body box testing is used to diagnose complex diseases, such as problems in the structures of the lungs, that can’t be detected by spirometry alone. This test determines the amount of resistance to airflow in and out of the lungs, as well as how quickly oxygen moves from the lungs into the bloodstream. It also can detect if the lungs are trapping air.
  • Exercise Metabolic Study

    An exercise metabolic study measures oxygen levels within the blood, blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm, oxygen consumption, and carbon dioxide production during exercise. The study can reveal if there is a cardiac or pulmonary limitation to exercise. It is usually performed with spirometry — a test to measure the amount of air your child can exhale, as well as how quickly it can be forced out.

    This study is important for monitoring and evaluating certain heart or pulmonary diseases where limitations during exercise could indicate a need for surgery or other treatment. This includes conditions such as valve replacements, heart transplants, or lung transplants.

  • Methacholine Challenge

    Methacholine challenge is used to determine if your child has asthma. It can also be used to test the severity of asthma that’s already been diagnosed.

    Methacholine is a drug that stimulates lung receptors. When inhaled in certain amounts, the airways become narrow. The amount of methacholine it takes to make the airways narrow is much less in people with asthma than those without asthma.

    During the methacholine challenge, your child will start with spirometry — a test to measure the amount of air they can exhale, as well as how quickly it can be forced out. Then, your child will be given increasing levels of methacholine, and repeats the spirometry. The level of methacholine it takes to decrease lung function determines the severity of your child’s asthma.

  • Simple Exercise Study

    A simple exercise study measures your child’s oxygen level within the blood and blood pressure while they walks, run, or bike at a comfortable pace. This study can be performed to monitor your child to see if they’re getting enough oxygen when they exercise.

    We can also look for tightening of the airways when your child exercises. When combined with spirometry — a test to measure the amount of air your child can exhale, as well as how quickly it can be forced out — we can test for exercise-induced asthma.

  • Six-Minute Walk Study

    Your child’s pulse and oxygen levels within the blood are monitored while walk they along a path as fast as they comfortably can, alongside a trained respiratory therapist. The total distance walked in six minutes is then compared with your child’s previous values, or with the values of other children who do not have respiratory problems. This is a valuable aid in determining disease severity or progression, as well as response to treatment.
  • Spirometry

    This is the simplest pulmonary function study to evaluate lung function. During the test, your child will breathe into a mouthpiece called a spirometer. The spirometer then measures the total amount of air that your child can exhale, as well as how quickly that air can be forced out.

    Spirometry is a very valuable tool for treating chronic lung disease such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, and muscular dystrophy. This test is also used to diagnose asthma.

What To Do Next

Make An Appointment

Tests performed at the lab require an order from your child’s physician.

Call 402-955-8067 to schedule an appointment with the physician at the Pulmonary Diagnostics Lab.

Learn More About Pulmonary Conditions

Find out more about the conditions we test for, as well as other pulmonary clinics.

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