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Spirometry is a type of lung function test that measures the amount of air taken in (volume) and exhaled as a function of time. 

During a spirometry test, a patient places their mouth over the mouthpiece of the spirometer, takes a deep breath in, and then blows out as forcefully as possible.

Spirometry gives health care professionals two important numbers that may indicate problems with lung function. These are: Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) – how much air you can blow out of your lungs and Forced Expiratory Volume (FEV1) – the amount of air you can blow out in 1 second.

Spirometry is the best way of detecting the presence of airway obstruction and making a definitive diagnosis of asthma and COPD.

In Europe, most general practionners can perform spirometry. You will then probably be referred to a specialist.


To raise awareness on the importance of COPD early diagnosis, ECC runs a series of important spirometry events, mainly at European level, with the involvement of key EU leaders.

Please see on the right-hand side column for news on our spirometry events.