Diagnostic Techniques of COPD

Clinical history and physical examination should help to determine the possible cause and site of respiratory disease. The results of the history, physical examination, and chest x-ray often suggest what additional testing may be needed to determine what is causing the person's symptoms.  A test for lung disorders is done by measuring the lungs' capacity. Transthoracic fine needle aspirates of lung often are useful in the diagnosis of fungal pneumonia but have lower yields in the definitive diagnosis of solitary pulmonary lesions. Solitary pulmonary masses often require transthoracic lung biopsy or surgical excision for definitive diagnosis. Transthoracic ultrasonography is a sensitive diagnostic tool for pleural disease (eg, pleural effusion, pneumothorax) and for parenchymal lung disease when lesions are adjacent to the pleural surface.

Oximetry and arterial blood gas testing evaluate the gases exchanged in the lungs. Some doctors suggest that newly diagnosed COPD patients have complete pulmonary function testing, including a diffusing capacity (DLCO) test. This test can be repeated on later visits, if a change is noted in your symptoms or the findings on an exam

  • Chest Radiograph
  • Pulmonary Function Testing
  • Arterial Blood Gas (ABG) Analysis
  • Thoroscopy
  • Chest tube insertion

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