Gas Transfer

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Gas Transfer (Also known as DLCO, TLCO, CO Diffusion)

One of the primary functions of the lungs is to get oxygen into the bloodstream and the carbon dioxide out. For this to occur, gas must cross a very thin membrane which separates the blood flowing through the lungs from the air breathed into the lungs. Assessment of the lungs ability to do this is tested through Gas Transfer tests. Spirometry tests are almost always conducted prior to the Gas Transfer test.

The test involves taking a deep breath in, holding the breath for approximately 10 seconds then breathing the air out. This test may be recommended for diagnosis or routine management of patients with lung conditions such as emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis. This test (with spirometry prior) normally takes approximately 30 minutes.

This information is intended as a guide only. Information specific to you as an individual should be sought from your family doctor or respiratory specialist.

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