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Methacholine Challenge Testing

The purpose of a methacholine challenge test is to determine the amount of airway irritability of a patient.   

The test usually takes about an hour.

Plan on arriving 15 minutes before your appointment for check-in.  You will check in at the patient registration desk in the main lobby of the hospital.

How Do I Schedule Testing?
To schedule a test you must have a test ordered by a physician.  To make an appointment call (509) 946-4611 ext 2119.

Who Performs The Testing
A Respiratory Therapist specially trained in pulmonary function testing will perform your test. A Pulmonologist will interpret the results and provide your physician with a report.

Indications For PFT Testing
Including but not limited to:
The need to exclude a diagnosis of airway hyperactivity.
The need to evaluate occupational asthma.
The need to assess the severity of hyper responsiveness.
The need to assess response to therapeutic interventions

When is a test contraindicated?
Including but not limited to:
Heart attack or stroke within 3 months.
Known aortic or cerebral aneurysm.
Uncontrolled hypertension.
Inability to perform spirometry of an acceptable quality.
Upper or lower respiratory tract infection with previous six weeks.
Current use of cholinesterase-inhibitor medication.
Pregnancy
Lactation

How Do I Prepare?
Plan on arriving 15 minutes before your appointment for check-in.  You will check in at the patient registration desk in the main lobby of the hospital.
Do not participate in significant exercise or have exposure to extreme heat or cold for 2 hours prior to testing.
If you are having respiratory symptoms the day of the test, please call 942-2119 and notify the respiratory therapist before arriving for your test.
Do not eat or drink anything with caffeine (coffee, cola, tea, chocolate) for at least 12 hours prior to testing.
Do not smoke for at least 6 hours prior to testing.

72 hours prior to test:
Stop all anti-histamines

48 hours prior to test:
Stop long-acting bronchodilators (Theophylline, Theodur, Serevent, Advair, Foradil)
Stop anticholinergics (Combivent, Atrovent, Duoneb, Tilade, Intal)

24 hours prior to test:
Stop Leikotriene modifiers (Singulair, Accolate, Syflo)
8 hours prior to test:
Stop all bronchodilators (Proventil, maxair, Ventolin, Albuterol, Xopenex, Accuneb.

If you are taking a beta blocker drug (eg, atenolol or propranolol) please discuss this with your physician before scheduling your test as this medication may need to be held before testing.

What do I do during testing?
You will be asked to inhale a mist that contains different concentrations of methacholine.  The mist is produced by a device called a nebulizer and inhaled through a mouthpiece.  Before the test begins, and after each period of inhalation, you will be asked to blow forcefully into a spirometer.

How do I get my test results?
You may receive a copy of your test results by contacting the Health Information Department at 946-4611 ext 2017.