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Finding the Loopholes in Lung Function Testing


Finding the loopholes: MGC Diagnostics poster helps demystify the data of lung function testing

Spirometry is one of the most valuable tools in pulmonary function testing. And while it’s readily available, the results of this diagnostic test are not so easily interpreted.

To address these challenges, MGC Diagnostics offers the “Flow Volume Loop in Health and Disease” poster. First designed about 20 years ago (under the branding of MedGraphics), the poster graphically depicts the different types of findings that a spirometry test can yield. Specifically, the relationship between a patient’s lung volume and their maximum rate of airflow creates a “loop” that technicians can use to identify certain conditions and illnesses related to lung function. Using the poster as a guide, they can compare the shape of their patients’ loop to determine what obstructive or restrictive lung abnormalities may be present. (Click here to see the Flow Volume Loop in Health and Disease” poster.) The poster includes 11 different examples of how a flow volume loop could appear—and what those shapes signify. “What it is meant to be first and foremost is an educational piece,” explains Ralph Cook, Group Product Manager for MGC Diagnostics. “The presence of certain disease states will affect how the loop looks, so diagnostically, a technician can obtain a lot of information by simply looking at the loop images on the poster.”

Last fall, the poster was redesigned with a brighter color scheme that easily draws attention to the loop contours and also reflects the MGC Diagnostics branding.  Cook says that the poster is presented to prospective clients during sales consultations and also is distributed during trade shows and diagnostics seminars, but it can also be obtained by contacting MGC Diagnostics Tech Support or Sales Services and providing the part number on the corner of the poster (006003-001 RevC). “I don’t think our competitors offer a tool like this one,” Cook notes. “We’ve seen our poster in many labs, including those that are serviced by our competitors, so it’s obviously serving an important function among those who are interpreting lung function tests.”

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