Hyperventilation provocation study

What is a hyperventilation provocation test?

A hyperventilation provocation test is designed to assess your breathing pattern.

Why do I need to have this test?

This test is used to check that your breathing pattern, and that your body maintains the correct levels of gases in your blood.

What happens during the test?

The Physiologist will explain the test to you and answer any queries that you may have regarding it. You will fill out some questionnaires about symptoms that you may be experiencing. Your breathing will be assessed at rest and you will then be asked to breathe hard and fast for 60 seconds whilst measurements are taken of gases in the air you breathe out.

Important information

  • Do not consume any alcohol on the day of the test.
  • Wear comfortable clothes; you will need to remove coats and jumpers for this test.
  • Take all medication as usual.
  • Do not wear nail varnish on the day of the test.

Thank you for your cooperation. This will assist us in obtaining accurate information and enable us to provide you with the most appropriate treatment.

Frequently asked questions

Will I experience any discomfort or side effects?

You may experience some short-term symptoms during the test. There are no long-term side effects of performing this test

When will I be told the results of my test?

You are usually told your results at your next clinic appointment, or a letter may be sent to your GP or the healthcare professional who referred you for the test.

What will happen if I do not want to have this test?

If you do not have this test we will not be able to pass important diagnostic information to your clinical team. This may affect the medical treatment that you receive.


Rafferty GF, Saisch SGN, Gardner WN. Relation of hypocapnic symptoms to rate of fall of end-tidal PCO2 in normal subjects. Respir Med 1992;86:335–340.

© North Bristol NHS Trust. This edition published June 2024. Review due June 2027. NBT002268. 

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Hyperventilation provocation study