Patient & Family Education Materials

Start over with a New Search

Infant Pulmonary Function Test

Your child is scheduled for an infant pulmonary function test (PFT) in the `Pulmonary Diagnostic Lab at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.


Test time:

Check-in time:

Children's Minneapolis – Sedation and Procedural Services(SPS) Unit, main level
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404

Please bring a list of your child's medicines and your insurance card with you. If you have questions about your insurance coverage for these services, or any special referral requirements, please contact your insurance company directly. They will advise you about your plan's coverage.

What is an infant pulmonary function test?

An infant pulmonary function test (PFT) is a painless breathing test. Because of your child's young age they will be sedated for this test. See education sheet, "Sedation for a Procedure".

Why does my child need it?

Infant PFTs can help your doctor determine if your child's lungs are working properly. A PFT can also help the doctor decide if medication is necessary or different kinds of medicines are effective.

Can I be with my child during the test?

You are encouraged to stay with your child until your child has been sedated. You can choose to stay for the testing or you may wait in the family lounge until the procedure is over. The entire test will last about 2 hours.

What should we do before the test?

If your child takes a bronchodilator such as Albuterol, Ventolin, or Xopenex nebulizer, try not to use it within 4 hours before the PFT. This bronchodilator will usually be given during the testing. You may want to bring a comfort item such as their blanket or pacifier. Diet restrictions will be necessary and sleep depriving your child may also be necessary. Instructions for this will be covered by the sedation nurse and in other handouts.

How is the test done?

A sedation nurse will sedate your child for the procedure. Your child will be placed on a special pulmonary function bed. Two Cardiopulmonary Technologists will then work with your child and place a mask over their nose and mouth to record their breathing. The mask your child will breathe through is connected to equipment that will record their breathing. The equipment assists your child in taking a deep breath and also in blowing it out. For a very short time during testing a clear cover will slide over the bed. After these baseline tests, a bronchodilator (a medicine that opens the small airways in the lungs) will be given. The tests will then be repeated to check for any changes.

What are the side effects of the medicine?

Side effects of the bronchodilator are rare and may include trembling and a fast heartbeat. If side effects occur they are generally brief.

What can I expect after the test?

Results of the test will be interpreted by a pediatric pulmonologist and sent to your doctor. You should follow up with your doctor to see how these results will affect your care plan. Every child wakes up differently from sedation. Please refer to the materials you were given on sedation for this information.


This sheet is not specific to your child but provides general information. For questions about why your child is being tested, please ask your child's doctor. If you have questions about how to prepare your child, or for more information about infant pulmonary function testing, please call the pulmonary lab at 612-813-5846.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Last Reviewed 7/2015 © Copyright

Back To Top

This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

© 2024 Children's Minnesota