Bronchodilator Reversibility Testing
What is a bronchodilator reversibility test?
The bronchodilator reversibility test is used to determine how well your lungs are
This test uses a spirometer and a bronchodilator. A spirometer is a machine that measures
lung function. It measures how much and how fast air is blown out or exhaled. Bronchodilators
are medicines that open the airways, making it easier to breathe.
Person breathing into a spirometer.
Why might I need a bronchodilator reversibility test?
This test is often used in people who have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease (COPD). For example, it may be done to help diagnose either condition.
How do I get ready for a bronchodilator reversibility test?
Before the test, you may be told not to take your usual bronchodilator medicine. Make
sure you follow the instructions exactly as given.
What happens during a bronchodilator reversibility test?
This test is often done in your healthcare provider's office. The reversibility testing
steps usually include the following:
1. You will be asked to take a deep breath and then blow into the mouthpiece of the
spirometer as hard as you can. This is a baseline measurement. The spirometer records
2. You will be given a dose of bronchodilator medicine using an inhaler or nebulizer.
3. You will wait for about 15 minutes.
4. You will take a deep breath and then blow into the mouthpiece spirometer as hard
as you can. Again, the spirometer records the results.
5. You will be asked to blow into the mouthpiece more than once to get the best reading
What happens after a bronchodilator reversibility test?
Your healthcare provider will make, confirm, or exclude a diagnosis of lung disease
by using information about:
The information may be used to determine the severity of your lung condition and to
help figure out the best treatment for you.