Pulmonary function testing in interstitial pulmonary disease. What does it tell us?
Respiratory Function Tests
Pulmonary physicians have come to rely on functional tests to give an accurate and quantitative measure of the activity and extent of interstitial pulmonary disease. It is the purpose of this review to evaluate the validity of that practice. We will do this by (1) reviewing the pathogenesis of interstitial pulmonary disease as related to clinical management (2) detailing the known correlates of function and structure in interstitial pulmonary disease in humans and experimental animals, (3) summarizing the advantages and limitations of relying on tests of pulmonary function to assess these patients, and (4) suggesting some future approaches to this problem.