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  • PFT imagePulmonary Function Test (PFT)/Methacholine Challenge Test

    The Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) is a series of breathing tests in which you will be asked to breathe through a machine to determine air flow into and out of your lungs.

    This may include the Methacholine Challenge Test. This is a test in which a drug (methacholine) is given during a PFT to help diagnose asthma, and in certain circumstances assist in the management of asthma.

    These tests can take from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the extent of the testing your doctor has ordered. It cannot be performed if you haven't properly prepared for it.

    Preparing for this procedure

    Required for all tests:

    • no smoking for 24 hours prior
    • no alcohol for 24 hours prior
    • no eating 2 hours prior
    • no coffee, tea, cola or chocolate 6 hours before test
    • no strenuous exercise 30 minutes before test

    Most inhalers must be held for 12 hours. However, long-acting medications (both oral and inhaled) must be held for up to 48 hours (call with specific questions).

    Examples of (bronchodilators) inhalers or nebulizers to hold for all tests:


    Hold for 12 hours  Hold for 48 hours 
    • Albuterol
    • Atrovent
    • Combivent
    • Cromolyn Sodium
    • DuoNeb
    • Maxair
    • Proventil
    • Ventolin
    • Intal
    • Nasocort
    • Nasonex
    • Antihistamines (Allegra, Benedryl, Claritin, Zyrtec)
    • Advair
    • Brovana
    • Dulera
    • Flovent
    • Pulmicort
    • Serevent
    • Singulair
    • Spiriva
    • Symbicort
    • Theophlline


    You cannot be pregnant and have the Methacholine Challenge.

    During the procedure

    In order to achieve optimal results, a non-distracted environment is required. Please plan to have as few people as possible in the room during the procedure.

    Below are estimated times for each procedure.

    Pulmonary Function Test 

    Estimated Time 

    Methacholine Challenge

    90 minutes

    Complete PFT

    90 minutes

    Double PFT

    75 minutes

    Single PFT

    30 minutes


    Contact us

    Call our respiratory therapists at (906) 483-1460 for more information about withholding medications and pulmonary function testing. If you reach the voicemail box, please leave a name and phone number so that a member of our staff can return your call. 


500 Campus Drive
Hancock, MI 49930
(906) 483-1000


921 W. Sharon Avenue
Houghton, MI 49931
(906) 483-1777

Express Care 


945 Ninth Street
Lake Linden, MI 49945
(906) 483-1030


751 S. Seventh Street
Ontonagon, MI 49953
(906) 884-4120


600 MacInnes Drive
Houghton, MI 49931
(906) 483-1860

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