What is pulmonary diffusion?

Written by: Dr. Zoran Stojanovic
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Pulmonary diffusion of carbon monoxide (DLCO) or transfer of carbon monoxide is a diagnostic test that measures how and in what form the gas exchange takes place in the lungs.

pulmonary diffusion This proof of Pneumology to determine how effectively the oxygen passes through the alveolar walls and transferred from the lungs to the blood.

The pulmonary capillary bed is a thin barrier that is in contact with the alveoli of the lungs and functions as a filter for blood. If there is any condition, should not have problems in this gas exchange: oxygen (O2) of the inspired air is well absorbed into the blood, while on the other hand carbon dioxide (CO2) passes the blood the alveoli to be exhaled.

In general, if it does not mean that the exchange of oxygen between the lungs and the blood is abnormal and could be symptoms of more serious diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis, stroke or pulmonary hypertension, asthma, emphysema or other lung problems blood vessels .


How the lung diffusion test work?

Due to its characteristics, examination of pulmonary diffusion should be done by very qualified specialists in pulmonology sector as a specially designed for this type of test equipment is needed.

It is very important to know that this test is not only useful for detecting a problem, but especially for monitoring and assessing the progression of a disease.

Before proceeding with the review, it is very important to know the basic patient data (sex, age, height, weight). It is also essential to know the levels of hemoglobin in the blood of the person concerned, because sometimes in people suffering from anemia, the values ​​are altered diffusion test.

Overall, the test has a duration ranging from five to ten minutes, where the patient is sitting in front of the medical team with a tight-fitting mouthpiece in your mouth and nasal nose clip. Through the nozzle, the patient inhales a mixture of gases with a small concentration of carbon monoxide. Then hold your breath for ten seconds and finally exhale, allowing the medical team to analyze and measure the difference in the concentration of inhaled and exhaled gases.


When is it necessary to test pulmonary diffusion?

This is probably the most useful for the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary emphysema (COPD) examination disease that develops above all in smokers. In fact, respiratory medicine specialists recommend performing a pulmonary evaluation to all smokers over 35 years old and an average of a pack a day in the last ten years. It is also advised in case of interstitial diseases, pulmonary diseases and the assessment of surgical risk in case of operations in the lungs.

Basically, this test is very useful to diagnose certain lung diseases and monitor the status of people with lung disease. It's so simple and easy to perform that really has no side effects.

Once detected the problem, you can start treating the disease in question.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection
Dr. Zoran Stojanovic

By Dr. Zoran Stojanovic
Pulmonary Disease

Renowned specialist in Pneumology, Dr. Zoran Stojanovic graduated in medicine from the University of Belgrade. In 2009, he obtained a Postgraduate in Public Health from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and made the residence of Pneumology in Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital. Since 2013, actively participated as principal investigator in several clinical trials as well as being author and co-author of various papers presented at various conferences nationally and internationally. He combines his professional work with teaching, being in the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Girona teacher.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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