Spirometry: key to the diagnosis of respiratory disorders

John R Wheatley
Med J Aust 2017; 207 (10): 422-423. || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00684
Published online: 20 November 2017

Spirometry remains the cornerstone of respiratory function testing and is the key to diagnosing and monitoring the most common respiratory disorders. Spirometry measures how quickly the air can empty from the lungs (flow) and how much air can be moved during a maximal expiration (volume). It is a valuable clinical tool to detect diseases that impair respiratory function, help exclude respiratory disease as a cause of current symptoms, assess the severity of any impairment in function, and monitor the effects of any therapeutic intervention or of disease progression.

  • John R Wheatley

  • Westmead Hospital and University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW


Series editors

Balakrishnan (Kichu) Nair

Simon O’Connor

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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