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?

Your doctor has asked that you have this simple procedure to check that your breathing pattern is correct and that your body maintains the correct gases in your blood.

What happens during the test?

When you attend the lung function unit 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 suffering from. 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

  • Patients should not consume any alcohol on the day of the test.
  • Take all medication as usual.
  • Patients should not wear nail varnish on the day of the test.

Thank you for your co-operation. 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?

There is no discomfort or known side effects associated with 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 doctor 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 the doctors. 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.

NHS Constitution. Information on your rights and responsibilities. Available at www.nhs.uk/aboutnhs/constitution

If you or the individual you are caring for need support reading this leaflet please ask a member of staff for advice.

How to contact us:

Respiratory Physiology
Gate 12
Level 1
Brunel building
Southmead Hospital
BS10 5NB

0117 414 5400 - Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm


© North Bristol NHS Trust. This edition published April 2021. Review due April 2023. NBT002268

Hyperventilation Provocation Study