At Ohio Chest Physicians, LTD., we don’t just offer general medicine. We specialize in pulmonary medicine, sleep medicine and critical care. Utilizing the latest research, we will employ proven diagnostic techniques and effective treatments to deliver the best possible health care for you. Comprehensive pulmonary function testing is available on site in most of our office locations. All sleep testing is performed at West Region Sleep Center.


Pulmonary Function Tests

Pulmonary function tests are a series of measurements of how well the lungs take in and release air, how well they move essential gases such as O2 from the atmosphere into the body, and how the body circulates it.

How the Test is Performed Spirometry measures lung airflow. By measuring how much air is exhaled, and how quickly, spirometry can evaluate a broad range of lung diseases. In a spirometry test, while you are sitting, you breathe into a mouthpiece that connects to an instrument called a spirometer. The spirometer records the amount and the rate of air that you breathe in and out over a period of time.

Testing can include measurements that require breathing normally and quietly. Others can require forced exhalations after a deep breath. You may be asked to inhale a medication that can improve/change your test results.

In an office setting, lung volume is measured when you breathe nitrogen or helium gas through a tube for a certain period of time. The concentration of the gas in a chamber attached to the tube is measured to estimate the lung volume.

To measure diffusion capacity, you breathe a harmless gas, called a tracer gas, for a very short time, often for only one breath. The concentration of the gas in the air you breathe out is measured. The difference in the amount of gas inhaled and exhaled measures how effectively gas travels from the lungs into the blood. This test allows the doctor to estimate how well the lungs move oxygen from the air into the bloodstream.

How to Prepare for the Test Please do not eat a heavy meal before the test. No smoking for 4-6 hours before the test. Instructions will be given if you need to stop using bronchodilators or inhaler medications. You may have to breathe in medication before or during the test, that will be discussed at the time of the test.

How the Test Will Feel The test involves some forced breathing and rapid breathing. Some lightheadedness or temporary shortness of breath may occur. You will be breathing through a tight-fitting mouthpiece and you will have nose clips.

Why the Test is Performed Pulmonary function tests are performed to:
- Diagnose certain types of lung disease (such as bronchitis, asthma and emphysema)
- Help determine the cause of shortness of breath
- Measure whether exposure to chemicals at work affects lung function
- Check lung function prior to surgery, as determined by your physician.

It can also be done to:
- Assess the effect of medication
- Measure progress in disease treatment

Risks The risk is minimal for most people. There is a small risk of collapsed lung in people with a certain type of lung disease. The test should not be given to a person who has experienced a recent heart attack, or who has certain other types of heart disease.

Considerations Your cooperation while performing the test is vital in order to obtain accurate results. An inadequate seal around the mouthpiece of the spirometer can give poor results that can’t be interpreted. Do not smoke before the test.

Alternative Names PFTs, Spirometry, Spirogram, Lung Function Tests

Sleep Services

Having trouble sleeping? Our board-certified sleep specialists might be able to help!


West Region Sleep Center Our sleep facilities, staffed by trained sleep specialists, assist physicians in diagnosing a wide range of breathing disorders, particularly sleep apnea. Four members of the group are board certified in sleep medicine including our medical director, Basma Ricaurte, MD. For more information, please contact us at (216) 267-5933.

West Region Sleep Center is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). This certifies that the Center meets or exceeds all AASM standards for professional, quality health care. Our physicians are specialists in the field of sleep medicine. Our highly trained sleep technicians are aided by the latest in diagnostic technology. We are proud to be considered pioneers in this field with more than 25 years of experience.

Nocturnal Polysomnogram A nocturnal polysomnogram (PSG) is a painless sleep-behavior study that can determine whether you suffer from sleep apnea or any of the other various sleep disorders.

On the night of your sleep study, you will meet with the technologist for about an hour as you prepare for the test. Special lightweight sensors are placed on various spots on the body to continuously record the activity of your brain, heart and lungs.

Muscle movements and airflow from your nose and mouth are also monitored, as well as the level of oxygen in your blood. The technician will continuously monitor these devices throughout the night and will observe your sleep behavior through video equipment that is located outside your private bedroom.

In the morning all the equipment and sensors will be removed and if no further testing is required, you will be discharged.

Multiple Sleep Latency Test In some cases, you may be required to stay for an additional sleep test called the Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT). The MSLT consists of a series of four to five naps that are recorded. Breakfast and lunch will be provided should you stay for an MSLT.

CPAP Titration The purpose of this overnight sleep study is to fit a patient for CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) equipment. CPAP is currently the most common non-surgical treatment for sleep apnea. CPAP uses air pressure delivered through a nasal or face mask to hold open the airway, so it does not collapse during sleep. The appropriate pressure and mask for each patient is determined through a titration study.

A sleep technician will work with you to find the appropriate mask for you. During your titration study, the technician will adjust the CPAP machine’s pressure for you to control apnea episodes.

Home Sleep Study – Portable Monitoring A home sleep study is a simplified version of an overnight, attended sleep study/polysomnogram (PSG) that focuses on nocturnal breathing. Home sleep studies are only used to diagnose or rule out obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Because the emphasis is on breathing, it is possible to use fewer sensors. If you need a sleep study, your doctor will make a recommendation based on your specific situation whether you should have your tests done in the lab or at home.

Results and Treatment After your testing is complete, we process the data and deliver the results to the Center physician for interpretation and diagnosis.

Sleep study results are also forwarded to the physician who ordered your test for consultation on diagnosis and treatment. Depending on your diagnosis, treatment may include specific lifestyle changes, weight loss, and CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). Approximately one week after your sleep study, someone from the sleep lab will call you with follow-up instructions.

West Region Sleep Center – DME (Durable Medical Equipment) Division West Region Sleep Center is able to provide CPAP machines and equipment to our patients should your doctor determine this is the best treatment for you. We are contracted with several insurance carriers and will verify coverage for you.  Our DME division has been licensed by the Ohio Respiratory Care Board since 2007.

Questions We want you to feel comfortable about coming to our Sleep Centers for your testing. Please feel free to call us with any questions you may have. We are available by phone during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. We look forward to helping in any way that we can.

Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM

Basel Altaqi, MD
Robert B. Gerber, MD, FCCP
Daniel V. Iltchev, MD
Basma Ricaurte, MD, FCCP
Joseph A. Sopko, MD
Linas F. Vaitkus, MD, FCCP

Five Convenient Medical Offices

18660 E Bagley Rd., Bldg. 2, #405, Middleburg Hts., OH 44130 • 440.826.3030
6681 Ridge Rd., #206, Parma, OH 44129 • 440.845.4221
6707 Powers Blvd., #106, Parma, OH 44129 • 440.886.2509
29099 Health Campus Dr., Bldg. 3, #130, Westlake, OH 44145 • 440.835.6163
2322 East 22nd St., #306, Cleveland, OH 44115 • 440.886.2509

West Region Sleep Center • 216.267.5933
15805 Puritas Avenue Cleveland, OH 44135

15805 Puritas Avenue Cleveland, OH 44135 • 216.267.5139

Most Insurances Accepted