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Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Thomas Drive, L14 3PE
Switchboard: 0151 600 1616

Respiratory Diagnostics


Our department works closely with other disciplines within LHCH including Cardiac Diagnostics, Cystic Fibrosis and the Rapid Access Service. We actively encourage involvement with associations such as the British Lung Foundation and Breathe Easy (a self-help group for people suffering from all types of lung disease). You may be referred to us by either a Hospital consultant or your own GP. Depending on the reason for your referral, you may have just one test or a series of tests.

Department Manager Contact Details

Dot Price 

Telephone: 0151 600 1331

Department Contact Details

General Enquiries

Telephone: 0151 600 1328

Fax: 0151 600 1722

The following is a summary of the investigations performed in the department together with a brief overview of the tests involved:


Spirometry is used within the hospital to aid with the diagnosis and management of lung conditions. This test involves blowing into a machine called a 

spirometer which measures the volume of air you can breathe in and out. Sometimes reversibility testing is requested by a consultant where we give you some inhaled medication as part of the test and assess your response to the inhaler. Further information about this test can be found in the Spirometry leaflet in the Patient Information section of this website. Please allow up to 30 minutes for this test.

Full Lung Function Test

This measures different aspects of your lung function, including lung volumes and how well your lungs transfer oxygen into your blood. Please allow 20 - 40 minutes for this test.

Diagnostic Sleep Study

This is an at home diagnostic sleep test to aid in the diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. This is a condition where you have pauses in breathing throughout the night and can wake up feeling unrefreshed and sleepy. You will attend the department to be fitted with some equipment to wear whilst you sleep on the night of your appointment. Further information about this test can be found in the Diagnostic Sleep Study leaflet in the Patient Information section of this website. Please allow up to 30 minutes for this appointment.

If you have a positive diagnosis and are suitable for CPAP treatment here at LHCH, we offer a comprehensive CPAP treatment service with follow-up support.

Oesophageal Manometry and Oesophageal pH Studies

For the assessment of swallowing problems and acid reflux. Please allow up to 2hrs for this appointment.

Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test

This test monitors your cardiac and respiratory responses to exercise. The test involves pedalling on a stationary cycle whilst we measure the electrical activity of your heart (ECG) and your breathing (through a mask). Please allow up to 1 hour for this test.

Mannitol Challenge Test

This test is specific in identifying individuals with asthma. You will be asked to inhale increasing amounts of mannitol through a small inhaler device. The response of your airways will be measured after each dose by asking you to perform a breathing test. Further information about this test can be found in the Mannitol Challenge Test leaflet in the Patient Information section of this website. Please allow up to 1 hour for this test.

Hypoxic Challenge Test

This test is used to assess if in-flight oxygen is required. Small blood samples from your earlobe are taken as part of the test. Please allow up to 1 hour for this test.

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Services

COPD is a disease in which the airways of the lungs become inflamed and narrowed. As the air sacs get permanently damaged, it will become increasingly difficult to breathe out. It is most commonly caused by smoking. The symptoms usually develop over time and do not normally become noticeable until after the age of 35. 

If you are over 35 and have symptoms including breathlessness when moving around or exercising, a persistent chesty cough, frequent chest infections, particularly in winter, and you currently smoke or are an ex-smoker then you are at risk of having COPD. Symptoms usually develop over a number of years, so you may not be aware you have the condition. If you suspect you may have COPD please contact your GP who will be happy to refer you to the Community Spirometry Service appropriate for you.

Our team is the first point of contact for patients referred to the Knowsley Community COPD Service. The spirometry test is used to screen every patient referred with suspected or confirmed COPD, as well as providing part of the annual review service as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Appointments are offered at a number of locations within Knowsley and you can choose which clinic you wish to attend. We can also perform more specialised testing as part of this service. 

Liverpool Community COPD Spirometry Service

Our Liverpool Community COPD Spirometry Service for the diagnosis of COPD currently provides a daily service to GP practices in numerous locations across Liverpool.

A comprehensive range of leaflets are available for patients from the British Lung Foundation explaining many forms of lung disease. Their website is www.blf.org.uk.

Department Times

08.30 am – 5.00 pm   Monday – Friday

Finding the Department

Enter the LHCH main entrance and follow signs for LHCH Outpatients/Pulmonary Function.