Pulmonary Function Testing and Cardiopulmonary Function Testing

Lissa Judd administering a pulmonary function test on an asthma patientLahey Hospital & Medical Center maintains two state-of-the-art pulmonary function testing (PFT) laboratories-one in Burlington, Mass., and one in Peabody, Mass. – in addition to a bronchoscopy suite in Burlington. All testing is performed by certified personnel.

Full exercise physiology testing is available in addition to standard PFT. All tests are reviewed by board-certified Lahey pulmonologists.

We also offer a flight clinic that assesses and treats people with lung disease who might be at risk for air travel.


Lahey Hospital & Medical Center is the first hospital in New England utilizing a registry to offer an innovative way to help diagnose lung cancer which may reduce the risks associated with more invasive biopsies and diminish the uncertainties of bronchoscopy results.

Lahey pulmonologists are using advanced genomic technology called Percepta to help determine whether a spot found on a patient’s lung is benign or malignant. By improving preoperative diagnostic accuracy, the aim is to help patients avoid unnecessary more invasive procedures.

Diagnosing Lung Cancer

When a CT scan shows a lung nodule or lesion, doctors commonly perform bronchoscopy, a procedure in which a scope is inserted down a sedated patient’s throat and guided to the lung. Unfortunately, bronchoscopies produce inconclusive results up to 40% of the time, meaning that cancer cannot always be ruled out.

That leaves doctors with the dilemma of whether to subject patients to an invasive, expensive and potentially unnecessary follow-up biopsy procedure or just monitor them, with the chance that they do have cancer.

These follow-up procedures can involve a needle biopsy, which has up to a 25% risk of collapsed lung, or surgery, which is costly and carries its own health risks. About one-third of patients who undergo surgery prove to have benign (noncancerous) nodules.

How Percepta Works

With Percepta, Lahey pulmonologists use a tiny brush to collect cell samples from a specific location in the lung at the same time they are performing the initial bronchoscopy. If the bronchoscopy results are inconclusive, these samples are then sent to a Percepta laboratory in San Francisco for state-of-the-art genomic testing.

Percepta has been shown to identify patients at “low risk” with a high degree of accuracy. These patients may then be monitored with CT scans in lieu of undergoing invasive diagnostic procedures.

The Percepta Bronchial Genomic Classifier was created by the diagnostics company Veracyte, which made the test available to a limited number of U.S. institutions in 2015. Recognizing the importance of this new technology, Lahey’s Department of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine committed the time and resources to learn the procedure in order to offer this option to patients.

Lung Cancer Screening at Lahey

Lung cancer is the number-one cause of cancer deaths in the United States. But early detection can increase the 5-year survival rate for stage 1 lung cancer to nearly 90%.

In 2015, more than 8 million Americans at high risk for lung cancer became eligible for low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) lung cancer screenings through Medicare or other insurance. This means more nodules and lesions will likely be found, making Percepta a significant option for many.

Lahey is a pioneer and leader in LDCT and has the largest clinical lung cancer screening program in the country. Learn more and see if you qualify for lung cancer screenings.