Pulmonary Function Lab Alberta

Our fully accredited RANA Pulmonary Function Labs improve access to pulmonary function testing and provide Certified Respiratory Education (CRE) for patients in Calgary and surrounding towns.

Please note: we ask patients to refrain from using their inhaled bronchodilators prior to testing. If the patient has taken these medications prior to testing, the therapist will note this on the report for the interpreting respirologist.

Pulmonary function test results help physicians:

  • Screen for obstructive and restrictive pulmonary disease.

  • Document the progression of pulmonary disease.

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of inhaled respiratory medications.

ABG (Arterial Blood Gas) test results are used to:

  • Complement the respiratory assessment of your patient.

  • Determine if your patient qualifies for home oxygen.

  • Manage your patient's current home oxygen therapy.

  • Aid in AADL qualification for home oxygen.

Certified Respiratory Education

Certified Respiratory Education helps your patients understand and manage their disease and better improve their quality of life. Appointments (includes spirometry test) are available for education on:

  • Asthma

  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Respiratory Disease)

  • Smoking Cessation

RANA's pulmonary function testing meets American Thoracic Society (ATS) guidelines for quality and accuracy. We use the Medgraphics Elite body plethysmograph and Breeze software.

Screening Patients for Spirometry Testing

Spirometry is recommended to confirm a diagnosis of asthma or COPD.

Asthma

Asthma should be suspected in patients ≥ 6 years of age with a history of recurrent respiratory symptoms including:

  • Coughing
  • Breathlessness
  • Wheezing

COPD

COPD should be suspected in patients ≥ 40 years of age, who are smokers or ex-smokers and answer "yes" to any of the following questions:

  • Do you cough regularly?
  • Do you cough up phlegm regularly?
  • Do even simple chores make you short of breath?
  • Do you wheeze when you exert yourself at night?
  • Do you get frequent colds that persist longer than other people you know?

Available Testing

Testing is completed Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Our last appointment of the day begins at 3 p.m. (We are closed on statutory holidays.)

Please note: we ask patients to refrain from using their inhaled bronchodilators prior to testing. If the patient has taken these medications prior to testing, the therapist will note this on the report for the interpreting respirologist.

Pulmonary Consultation with a Respirologist

  • Consultations require a Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) within the previous 6 months. If a recent PFT has not been conducted, then a complete PFT will be performed.

Simple Spirometry Including

  • FVC, FeV1, FeV1/FVC ratio, Fef25-75% & PEFR

AGB (Arterial Blood Gas)

Using Instrumentation Laboratory GEM Premier 3000 blood gas analyzer. Test includes:

  • PH, PaCO2, PaO2, HCO3-, BE & SO2

Complete Pulmonary Function Tests

Includes:
  • FVC (spirometry)
  • SVC testing: parameters reported - SVC, ERV and IC
  • Body plethysmography: parameters reported - TGV, TLC, RV and airway resistance (optional)
  • Diffusion: parameter reported - DLCO uncorrected for Hb, DL/VA and VA
Procedure:
  • Testing takes 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • The patient must be able to sit for testing; the patient will not be asked to exercise
  • Bronchodilators may be administered based on approved protocols.
  • Patients may be instructed to refrain from taking their inhaled bronchodilators prior to testing (if approved by the referring physician). If the patient has taken inhaled bronchodilators prior to testing, the therapist will note this on the report for the interpreting respirologist.
RANA Care Core Logo

The RANA Care Core Difference

Prompt Service
  • Routine testing is completed within 5 business days. *
  • Urgent testing is completed within 2 business days. *
  • Routine results and interpretations are faxed within 5 business days of the test.
  • Critical ABG results or ABG results required for AADL qualification are faxed immediately to the referring physician and oxygen vendor; the referring physician's office is contacted by phone to ensure receipt of results.
* Depending on patient availability
Simple Referral Process
  • You fax your referral, we fax immediate confirmation.
  • We contact your patient to schedule their appointment.
  • We notify your office of the appointment date or if we are unable to contact your patient.
Accurate Results
  • All testing meets ATS guidelines for quality and accuracy.
  • Accredited by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta.
  • Quality monitored by our Medical Director, Dr. Charles Penner.
  • All interpretations are performed by respirologists.
Patient Convenience
  • prompt access
  • free parking
  • wheelchair accessible
Patient Education
  • RANA's Certified Respiratory Educators (CREs) educate patients on the proper use of their inhaled medications.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can you provide more details about the tests done at the lab?

    RANA's lab performs body plethysmography and spirometry. Some of the specific parameters we measure during testing include the following:

    FVC

    Forced Vital Capacity - after the patient has inhaled the deepest possible breath, the Forced Vital Capacity is the volume of air that can be forcibly and maximally exhaled out of the lungs until no more can be expired. FVC is usually expressed in liters. This PFT value is critically important in the diagnosis of obstructive and restrictive diseases.

    FEV1

    Forced Expiratory Volume in One Second - is the volume of air that can be forcibly exhaled from the lungs in the first second of a forced expiratory maneuver. FEV1 is expressed in liters. This PFT value is critically important in the diagnosis of obstructive and restrictive diseases.

    FEV1/FVC - FEV1 Percent (FEV1%)

    This ratio of FEV1 to FVC indicates the percentage of the total FVC expelled from the lungs during the first second of forced exhalation - this number is also called FEV1%, %FEV1 or FEV1/FVC ratio. This PFT value is critically important in the diagnosis of obstructive and restrictive diseases.

    FEV3

    Forced Expiratory Volume in Three Seconds - is the volume of air that can be forcibly exhaled in three seconds - measured in Liters. The FEV3 is usually close to the FVC since most of the air in the lungs can be forcibly exhaled in three seconds in the normal individuals.

    FEV3/FVC - FEV3%

    This ratio of FEV3 to the FVC indicates the percentage of the total FVC expelled during the first three seconds of forced exhalation. This can be called %FEV3 or FEV3%.

    PEFR

    Peak Expiratory Flow Rate - is the maximum flow rate achieved by the patient during the forced vital capacity maneuver beginning after full inspiration and starting and ending with maximal expiration. It can be measured in L/sec or L/min. PEFR is a useful to see if treatment improves obstructive diseases like bronchoconstriction secondary to asthma.

    FEF

    Forced Expiratory Flow - Forced Expiratory Flow is a flow rate measurement to determine how much air can be expired from the lungs. FEF is measured as liters/second or liters/minute. The FVC expiratory curve is divided into quartiles, so there is an FEF for each quartile. The quartiles are expressed as FEF25%, FEF50%, and FEF75% of FVC.

    FEF25%

    The amount of air forcibly expelled in the first 25% of the total forced vital capacity test.

    FEF50%

    The amount of air expelled from the lungs during the first half (50%) of the forced vital capacity test. This test is useful when looking for obstructive disease. The amount of air expired in an obstructed patient will be smaller than for a normal patient.

    FEF25%-75%

    The amount of air expelled from the lungs during the middle half of the forced vital capacity test. Many physicians look at this value as an indicator of obstructive disease.

    MIP/MEP

    The maximum inspiratory and expiratory pressure that can be developed by the respiratory musculature at specific lung volumes.

    DLCO

    Diffusion Capacity - the carbon monoxide uptake from a single inspiration in standard time (usually 10 seconds).

  • What testing is insured by Alberta Health and Wellness?

    Pulmonary function testing ordered by a physician is usually covered by Alberta Health and Wellness, if the patient has a valid Alberta Health Card (AHC). Reciprocal agreements with other provincial health service payment plans are also in place, so the costs of testing out-of-province patients are paid by their respective provincial health plans.

  • What testing is not insured by Alberta Health and Wellness?

    The cost of the pulmonary function testing is not covered by Alberta Health Card (AHC) under these few circumstances:

    • Third party testing: tests required for Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) and other third-party payers. Usually the third-party pays for these tests.
    • Non-medical reasons: testing for pre-employment screening; this cost is usually paid for by the prospective employer.
    • Testing for certain certifications (e.g. SCUBA certification): the patient is responsible for these testing costs.
    • Research: these costs are paid by the research facility.
Encourage Proper Inhaler Use
RANA provides easily sharable and printable PDF information sheets on how to properly use inhalers.
Home Oxygen Equipment
RANA carries a wide range of quiet, easy-to-use, energy efficient home and portable oxygen equipment and supplies.