Respiratory Physiology

The Respiratory Physiology is situated at Gate 12, Level 1, Brunel building, Southmead Hospital. It forms part of the North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) Lung Centre. 

The function of the department is to perform breathing tests to aid in the diagnosis of lung disease. The department also participates in various research projects and is involved in the Trust's teaching program.

The Service is provided Monday-Friday for both in and outpatients.

Testing procedures include:

  • Spirometry and flow volume loops
  • Full lung function testing (including lung volumes and gas transfer studies)
  • Allergy tests
  • Bronchial reactivity tests
  • Fit to Fly tests
  • Respiratory muscle strength assessments and diaphragm screening
  • Overnight sleep screening
  • Carbon monoxide monitoring
  • Blood gas assessments
  • Exhaled Nitric Oxide monitoring
  • Induced sputum sampling

Contra-indications for performing lung function tests:

  • Haemoptysis of unknown origin - may aggravate the underlying condition
  • Pneumothorax
  • Unstable angina pectoris
  • Unstable cardiovascular status (eg, recent MI or PE - blood pressure changes may aggravate these conditions
  • Thoracic, abdominal or cerebral aneurysms - danger of rupture due to increased thoracic pressure (surgical advice)
  • Recent eye surgery - increased intra-ocular pressure
  • Recent thoracic or abdominal surgical procedure
  • Acute disorders affecting technique (e.g. nausea and vomiting)
  • Poor comprehension.

For further information, download patient information leaflets: