Lung Function Laboratory

The Lung Function Laboratory is conducted by our respiratory scientists and performs a variety of lung function tests on patients with referrals.

How to access this service

You will need a referral letter from your GP or medical practitioner to access this service.

Your doctor will need to fax your referral to us or send it electronically. When your referral is received it will be reviewed and categorised based on clinical urgency.

We will then contact you to book your appointment.

While every attempt will be made to provide you with the earliest possible appointment, the most urgent patients are given priority.

What to expect

There are a number of different lung function tests that measure various aspects of lung function. Depending on the reason for referral and symptoms, more than one test may be required.

Most tests are quite straightforward. You will be directed by the scientist to perform specific breathing tasks. These may make you short of breath or puffed, but time is allowed between tasks for you to catch your breath. Be sure to let the scientist know if you are feeling unwell during the tests. The video below demonstrates what may be expected during a standard lung function test.

If you have any questions or concerns in regards to your lung function test, please call 03 5454 8896  to speak with a Respiratory Scientist.

What to bring

  • Your appointment letter
  • Your referral
  • A list of medications that you are currently taking
  • Any relevant cards (Medicare Card, Health Care Card, Aged Pension, DVA).

Your appointment

Our Clinics are located on Level 1 in the Bendigo Hospital. Please present to the main Specialist Clinics reception to check in for your appointment.

Patients are seen strictly in order of appointment time. We do our best to run to time, however delays do occur and we therefore recommend that you allow at least one hour for your appointment.

If you need to reschedule or cancel you appointment you should contact 03 5454 8896 .

Lung function test

Lung function test - Karen translation

Specialist Clinics

Level 1 Clinics, Bendigo Hospital


100 Barnard Street
Entry via Mercy Street, Bendigo, VIC, 3550


5454 8896


5454 8922

How to refer your patient

This clinic accepts GP and specialist referrals to this service.

Referrals can be faxed to 03 5454 8922.
This clinic at Bendigo Health is registered as a MBS clinic. If you are referring to these clinics please include the following information:

  • Be addressed to the Lung Function Laboratory, a named Respiratory specialist or the Head of Service.
  • All demographic details (including name, date of birth, address and telephone number/s)
  • Relevant clinical history and relevant investigation results.
  • The date of referral
  • The referring Doctors name, address, provider number and signature.

Please click here for more information.

All referrals are triaged by the service according to clinical urgency. The more information you include with your referral, the better able we are to make an accurate assessment of your patient’s needs. Patients requiring immediate assessment should be sent to the Emergency Centre at their nearest hospital.

Should you have any queries regarding your patient’s referral, or if there is any deterioration in your patient’s condition, please contact the Clinic Nurse Liaison via the dedicated GP only telephone number (if you do not have access to this, please email [email protected] to request same).

Our Service

Lung function laboratory operating times

Monday - Friday

8.00am – 4.30pm

There are a number of different lung function tess that measure various aspects of lung function. Depending on the patient’s symptoms and the reason for referral, more than one test may be required.

Tests available include:

  • Spirometry: A measure of forced air movement in and out of the lungs. Spirometry assists with identifying ventilatory defects and can be performed before and after bronchodilator for assessment of reversibility of airflow obstruction.
  • Gas transfer (TLCO) – Transfer across the lung of carbon monoxide. This test is an assessment of gas exchange and alveolar membrane integrity.
  • Lung Volumes (plethysmography) – Measures lung size (including TLC, FRC, RV). Lung volumes are useful for detecting restrictive and mixed ventilatory defects.
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests – May assist with diagnosis of asthma or assessment of effectiveness of asthma treatment. A Mannitol Challenge is the provocation test of choice at Bendigo health.
  • Fraction of exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) – May be useful in detecting current airway inflammation in those with eosinophilic asthma.
  • Maximal respiratory pressures – Provides an indication of global respiratory muscle strength (inspiratory & expiratory).

Relative Contraindications for Lung Function Tests
Most lung function tests require the patient to sit unaided and to follow specific instructions in the performance of breathing manoeuvres requiring maximal effort. 

Patients with poor cognitive function may have difficulties performing tests.

Children that are unable to follow specific instructions in the performance of breathing manoeuvres are not seen at Bendigo Health; a specialised paediatric lung function laboratory is recommended.

Patients with limited English language skills may require an interpreter – please document on referral if an interpreter will be required

There are few absolute contraindications for lung function tests. We may choose to delay or modify tests where there is an increased risk of an adverse event, or results may be impacted by pain/discomfort.

Please contact the Lung Function Laboratory on (03) 5454 8896 to discuss potential contraindications and/or document clearly on referral.

Examples of contraindications include:

  • Acute myocardial infarction in previous week
  • Systemic hypotension or severe hypertension
  • Significant atrial/ventricular arrhythmia
  • Non-compressed heart failure
  • Uncontrolled pulmonary hypertension
  • Acute cor pulmonale
  • Clinically unstable pulmonary embolism
  • History of syncope associated with forced expiration/cough
  • Cerebral aneurysm
  • Brain surgery in previous 4 weeks
  • Recent concussions with continuing symptoms
  • Eye surgery in previous week
  • Sinus surgery or middle ear surgery or infection in previous week
  • Current pneumothorax
  • Thoracic surgery in previous 4 weeks
  • Abdominal surgery in previous 4 weeks
  • Late-term pregnancy
  • Current haemoptysis

Tests will be delayed where patients have communicable diseases such as:

  • Open pulmonary TB (on active treatment and 3 negative AFB in sputum)
  • Pertussis (>1 week antibiotic therapy)
  • Influenza (1-2 weeks after last symptoms)
  • Gastroenteritis (> 48 hours after last symptoms)
  • Coronaviruses (2 weeks after a confirmed negative COVID-19 test result)

Some tests require minimum levels of lung function for test to be performed:

  • Vital capacity of at least 1.20L required for gas transfer (TLCO)
  • Baseline FEV1 >70% predicted or 1.5L AND good quality baseline spirometry for bronchial provocation tests

Specialist Clinics

Level 1 Clinics, Bendigo Hospital


100 Barnard Street
Entry via Mercy Street, Bendigo, VIC, 3550


5454 8896


5454 8922