Pulmonary & Asthma Diagnostic Tests

Pulmonary and asthma screenings can help you find out how well you’re breathing. Your Banner Health doctor will evaluate your lung condition and may use a variety of tests to help determine if anything is wrong.

Allergy Testing

There are two types of testing we use to diagnose allergies that can trigger asthma attacks:

  • Skin test – diluted solutions of certain allergens are applied to the skin to see if there is a reaction
  • Blood test – measures your level of antibodies to specific allergens

Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT)

This test evaluates how well air moves in and out of your lungs and how well oxygen moves into your body. Common pulmonary function tests include:

  • Spirometry – measures airflow and lung capacity
  • Plethysmography – measures lung volume
  • Diffusing capacity – measures gas transfer from your lungs to your bloodstream

In addition to the more common pulmonary function tests, we also offer special tests to measure airway resistance and to measure respiratory muscle strength.

Exercise Testing

Exercise testing, also called stress testing, monitors how your heart, lungs and muscles respond to exercise. Exercise testing methods include:

  • 6-minute walk test – measures your heart rate, oxygen saturation and symptoms while you walk as far as you can during six minutes
  • Cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) – measures your heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, symptoms, the amount of air you breathe and the amount of oxygen you use during exercise on a stationary bike or treadmill

Bronchial Challenge Testing

A bronchial challenge test measures how easily your airways develop spasm in response to a trigger. We offer methacholine challenge testing and post-exercise spirometry to evaluate for asthma, exercise-induced asthma and other causes of airway spasm.

Oxygen Titration

Oxygen titration measures how much oxygen you need. We can perform oxygen saturation assessment during rest and with exercise to evaluate if there is any need for oxygen. We can also perform oxygen titration during activity to determine exactly how much oxygen is appropriate.

Arterial Blood Gas Analysis

We can determine how much oxygen, carbon dioxide and acid are in your blood with an arterial blood glass analysis. This test typically involves briefly inserting a small needle into the artery in your wrist.


Bronchoscopy is an outpatient procedure that we perform to sample lung fluid and evaluate for infection.

How Can Lung Screenings Help Me?

Your physician may refer you for testing to:

  • Assess respiratory symptoms
  • Confirm a diagnosis
  • Establish outlook for lung disease
  • Determine severity of lung disease
  • Evaluate operative risk
  • Assess disability

At Banner Health, we focus not just on your lung function but also on the factors that can contribute to breathing problems. These underlying factors include allergies and gastrointestinal disorders.

We also consider how breathing problems can affect your quality of life. For example, if breathing problems keep you from getting a good night’s sleep, you may be a good candidate for another test called a sleep study.

What Tests Are Used to Diagnose My Lung Condition?

We perform the following diagnostic and screening tests.

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