How do I prepare for the test?

In order to optimize the best test results it will be necessary to withhold some medications prior to test day. You should also bring food/beverages and something to keep you entertained for several hours as you will remain under our care for 6- 8 hours.

  • 72 Hours Prior to Appointment: Stop all long-acting Antihistamines (Claritin, Clarinex, Zyrtec, Allegra, Nasal Astelin, Xyzal)
  • 48 Hours Prior to Appointment: Stop all long-acting Bronchodilators (Theophylline, Theodur, Serevent, Advair, Symbicort, Foradil), Anticholinergics (Combivent, Atrovent, DuoNeb, Spiriva), Tilade or Intal.
  • 24 Hours Prior to Appointment: Stop all Leukotriene Modifiers (Singulair, Accolate, and Zyflo)
  • 8 Hours Prior to Appointment: Stop all Oral and Inhaled Bronchodilators (Volmax, Proventil Repetabs, Proventil MDI, Maxair, Xopenex, Ventolin or Albuterol MDI/solution, AccuNeb).

Why is this test being ordered?

Your doctor is concerned that some of your symptoms may indicate that you might have asthma or hyper-responsive airways. This test may help confirm or disprove that impression. This test is also occasionally done in a patient with known asthma in order to determine the degree of severity of the asthma, especially when a specific trigger is identified.

What will the test tell the doctor?

This test will tell if your lungs are sensitive or reactive to this trigger. Most patients with asthma are not sensitive to this trigger. If you have symptoms that suggest asthma, this test might help confirm or rule out this diagnosis of this item as your main trigger.

How is the test done and how long will it take?

The test consists of a series of nebulized breathing treatments. During the nebulized treatment you will take 5 breaths (or 2 minutes continuous flow) of a mist. After each nebulized treatment you will rest for 3 minutes then blow into a machine called a spirometer that measures your lung function. During the test you will need to give your best effort with each blow into the spirometer. This will ensure that we get the best result possible. The test is stopped when pulmonary function tests indicate a 20% decrease in the airflow. This can occur at any dose of the substance, if at all. If you don’t react to any dose the test takes approximately 3⁄4 of an hour, to complete the active inhalation portion. After the active inhalation portion of the test is completed you will remain in the office for several hours (4-8 hours) to allow the substance time to activate a response or dissipate from your system. During this time you will be allowed to eat/drink and move freely about the office. After the “holding period” we will repeat your spirometry looking for any late phase change and you will complete the appointment with the physician.

  • You should also bring food/beverages and something to keep you entertained for several hours as you will remain under our care for 6-8 hours.

 Are there any long term effects from this test?

The test may make you wheeze or feel tightness in your chest, or feel short of breath. The nurse may give you a medication treatment, which will rapidly relieve the symptoms. There are no known long-term side effects.