What Tests Are Important for the Diagnosis of Lung Disease?


Quick Answer

Some of the tests that are important for diagnosing lung disease include bronchoscopy, CT scan, PET scan, thoracoscopy and fine needle biopsy, according to the American Lung Association. Results of these tests combined with results of pulmonary function testing and a medical examination help a doctor form a diagnosis.

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CT and PET scans allow doctors to see the location of tumors in the lungs, explains the American Lung Association. The samples taken during bronchoscopy provide information about the condition of the lungs, such as bleeding or causes of pneumonia, asserts Merck Manuals. Some doctors may perform an electrocardiography or ECG to determine if a heart disorder instead of a lung disorder is the cause of a patient's symptoms. The type of tests used to diagnose lung disease in a particular patient depends on that patient's medical history and symptoms, notes the American Lung Association. Some tests are used to determine what kind of lung disease the patient has, how severe the disease is, or how far the disease has spread.

Lung disease is a categorical description that includes all issues pertaining to the lungs, including asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and lung cancer, states MedlinePlus. These medical conditions make it difficult for the lungs to work correctly or efficiently by affecting one or all parts of the lungs, such as the airways and the tissues.

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