Bronchial Challenge Test

The methacholine bronchial challenge test (also known as bronchoprovocation test) is performed to evaluate how “reactive” or “responsive” your lungs are. It can help your doctor evaluate symptoms suggestive of asthma, such as cough, chest tightness and shortness of breath, and help diagnose whether or not you have asthma.

How to access our services?

  • You must have a referral from your physician to get an appointment and pass this test.
  • In order to determine if you are eligible for this test you must have a recent baseline testing (pulmonary function test and/or a spirometry) available for review.

Who do we serve?

  • Adults
  • Children aged 12 and older

This test is provided by the Respiratory Therapy Program.

About The Program

Before your appointment

  • Your doctor will fax us a request. Please make sure your contact information is accurate so we may call you to schedule the appointment.
  • We will call you to schedule an appointment and provide preparation instructions.
  • You will receive a reminder call a few days before your appointment.
  • Please call us at least 48 hours in advance if you must cancel or change the date of your appointment.

What to bring

  • Valid Health card
  • List of all your medications, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements and herbal medicines

When you arrive

  • Please register at a self-service registration kiosk at the Main Entrance at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Clerks are available to help with the registration process.
  • Upon registering, take a “puck”. It will buzz and light up when your turn comes up and indicate in which room to report.
  • Use the Cardiology entrance door in Block A to go the Pulmonary Function Lab for your test.

Preparation and procedure

  • We will tell you if you need to stop some medications before testing and for what time frames. Not stopping certain medications will require re-booking of your test.
  • Avoid smoking, vaping and exercising before your test.
  • The Respiratory Therapist will teach you a breathing technique that will be repeated throughout the test while intermittently inhaling different concentrations of mist containing a medication named methacholine.
  • You will have to blow into the machine several times to collect sufficient data.
  • We may give you medication (for example, salbutamol and/or ipratropium bromide inhaler) at the end of the test.
  • This test requires reasonable effort.
  • The test lasts from 45 to 60 minutes.

Test results

  • The Respiratory Therapist who performs your test is not able to give you the results of your exam. The Respirologist or Internal Medicine Specialist will analyse the recorded data and send a written report to the referring physician within 10 working days.
  • Results will also be available in your electronic medical record. For information on the creation of an account and how to access your electronic medical record, visit MyChart.
  • You must book an appointment with your family doctor or healthcare professional who sent us the referral to discuss your test results.