The importance of the assessment of pulmonary function in COPD

Med Clin North Am. 2012 Jul;96(4):745-52. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2012.04.011. Epub 2012 May 31.


Spirometry is the gold standard for making the diagnosis of COPD. It should be performed in every case of suspected COPD. Other pulmonary functions, such as lung volumes, can give insight into physiologic consequences of COPD, such as hyperinflation. Pulmonary function testing can also aid in assessing the severity of disease and in managing the disease after diagnosis is made.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Lung Volume Measurements
  • Pulmonary Diffusing Capacity
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Spirometry
  • Vital Capacity


  • Bronchodilator Agents