The 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is currently a challenge worldwide. Due to the characteristics of lung function tests, the risk of cross infection may be high between health care workers and patients. The role of lung function testing is well defined for the diagnosis of various diseases and conditions. Lung function tests are also indispensable in evaluating the response to medical treatment, in monitoring patient respiratory and systemic pathologies, and in evaluating preoperative risk in cardiothoracic and major abdominal surgeries. However, lung function testing represents a potential route for COVID-19 transmission, due to the aerosol generated during the procedures and the concentration of patients with pulmonary diseases in lung function laboratories. Currently, the opportunities for COVID-19 transmission remain partially unknown, and data are continuously evolving. This review provides useful information on the risks and recommendations for lung function testing, which have varied according to the phase of the pandemic. This information may support national and regional boards and the health authorities to which they belong. There is a need for rapid re-opening of lung function laboratories, but maximum safety is required in the COVID-19 era.
- Lung function testing