The department of Physiology offers spirometry for both adults and children for diagnostic, routine, and pre-operative assessment. The tests are performed by trained technicians according to ATS/ERS standards. Each test is supervised and interpreted by a Specialist Physiologist and a detailed report is issued along with the machine generated output. Disposable anti-bacterial filters are used and standard disinfection procedures are employed to prevent cross-infection between patients.
Lung function tests, though important in the diagnosis, management, and follow-up of patients with respiratory disease and patients at risk for the development of pulmonary impairment. Is not routinely used due to lack of availability, expertise and cost.
The department of Physiology established the Lung Function Laboratory with a view to providing quality diagnostic services, improving teaching and enhancing research in the field of respiratory physiology.
The laboratory envisions
  • improving teaching related to respiratory physiology and pulmonary function assessment.
  • working towards increasing research output of the faculty related to respiratory physiology.
  • applying for research and equipment grants and other institutional grants to obtain funding in the view of establishing a pulmonary function unit in the Faculty to provide quality state-of-the-art diagnostic facilities at an affordable cost to patients.
  • enhancing research opportunities and quality of research related to respiratory physiology and assessment of pulmonary function.
  • upon acquiring further equipment, providing opportunity for students to obtain hands-on experience in pulmonary function assessment techniques.
  • establishing collaborations with other faculties and institutions with similar interests.
  • working towards making the unit a self-funded unit for its maintenance and sustenance, thereby reducing the burden on the state.

The laboratory is currently involved in:

  • 1performing spirometry as a diagnostic test to patients* of the
    • Colombo North Teaching Hospital
    • other state hospitals in the vicinity
    • private sector

    * This is the only centre in the country that provides a detailed interpretation in addition to the machine generated report.

  • 2conducting training programmes (techniques and interpretation of spirometry) for
    • undergraduate students
    • postgraduate trainees (of the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine)
    • postgraduate students reading for MPhils, MDs and PhDs in respiratory physiology
    • technicians
    • medical officers

    in both state and private sectors

  • 3research activities related to respiratory physiology and pulmonary function testing

The lung function laboratory remains under the department of physiology. The laboratory charges a fee for the investigations provided. The maintenance and expansion of the laboratory is carried out with the funds generated by the laboratory, research grants and donations

dr niranga

Dr. Dilesha W. Liyanarathnage


Ms.M.D.M.S.R.K Dissanayake
Staff Technical Officer Gr. I
Staff Technical Officer Gr. I

01How can I book an appointment?

You may book an appointment by contacting either
  • Ms. Janaki or Ms. Sriyani on 0112961126 (between 9.00am to 3.00 pm on weekdays)
  • Dr. Lakmali Amarasiri on 0773135939


Spirometry tests are conducted from Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 3.00pm. Please ensure that you book an appointment in advance and prepare the patients before you send them for the test.

03When you are reserving an appointment,

  • please take note of the whether the patient has any contraindications to the test
  • please indicate the tests required
    • Spirometry
    • Bronchodilator response
  • please inform the patients that a fee of Rs. 1500.00 will be charged for each test to cover the cost of consumables (mouth pieces, bacterial filters and printing paper).

01Who can undergo spirometry tests?

  • Children >5 years
  • Adults
However, please ensure that the patient is informed and that the following relative contraindications are checked before you send the patient.

02Relative contraindications

  • Haemoptysis of unknown origin
  • Recent pneumothorax*
  • Recent myocardial infarction*
  • Pulmonary embolism*
  • Thoracic, abdominal or cerebral aneurysms*
  • Recent eye surgery; raised intra-ocular pressure*
  • Recent thoracic or abdominal surgical procedures*
  • Cervical problems
  • Any other physical problem where forced expiration will be difficult
  • Any condition where it will be difficult for the patient to understand instructions
* within the past 4-6 weeks

03How to prepare the patient

Please ensure that the patient does not
  • smoke for at least 24 hours before the test
  • exercise in the 30 minutes before the test
  • eat a large meal in the two hours before the test (there is no need to keep the patient fasting)
  • drink alcohol in the four hours before the test
If the patients are on steroids as tablets, inhaled steroid or use any other medication, they may continue to take them as prescribed.

04If a bronchodilator test is required, please ensure that the following drugs are withheld for the specified time duration

  • Short-acting bronchodilators – 6 hours
  • Long-acting bronchodilators – 12 hours
  • Slow-release theophyllines – 24 hours
However, if the patients find it difficult to manage without their bronchodilator inhaler, allow them to continue it, though make a note of the time they last used it and let us know before we start the test.

05Are there any side effects?

The patients may feel a little tired, as we usually ask them to repeat the manoeuvres several times. This is normal and the tiredness will disappear quickly. However, if they experience chest pain, dizziness or wheezing during a test, we will stop the test and wait until they feel well enough to continue or direct them for treatment if necessary.
Address : Lung Function Laboratory
Department of Physiology
Faculty of Medicine
University of Kelaniya
Thalagolla Road,
Sri Lanka 11010

Spirometry tests are performed at the:

Lung Function Laboratory,
1st Floor,
Department of Physiology (New Pre-Clinical Building)

: Ms. Janaki or Ms. Sriyani on 0112961126
(between 9.00am to 3.00 pm on weekdays)

Ms Tharuka on 0112961128
(between 9.00am to 3.00 pm on weekdays)

Dr. Lakmali Amarasiri on 0773135939


Department of Physiology,
Faculty of Medicine,
University of Kelaniya,
P.O Box 6,
Thalagolla Road,
Sri Lanka

  • Tel :  +94 11 2961150 (Head)

  • Tel :  +94 11 2961128

  • Fax :  +94 11 2958337

  • Email: