Do You Need Pulmonary Testing?

Your pulmonologist (lung doctor) may order tests to diagnose lung conditions and diseases such as:

Pulmonary Tests

Your AnMed care team can perform a wide range of lung function tests that examine and check how well your lungs work. These noninvasive lung tests typically are not painful:

  • Chest X-ray – Looks at the heart, lungs, blood vessels, airways and bones in and around the chest to detect problems and check how well certain treatments are working
  • Echocardiogram – Measures how well blood flows through the heart to diagnose pulmonary hypertension
  • Exercise-induced bronchospasm evaluation – Detects changes in lung function triggered by exercise
  • Lung cancer screening – Looks for signs of lung cancer in current and former smokers
  • Maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP) and maximal expiratory pressure (MEP) – Measures respiratory muscle strength when breathing in and out
  • Methacholine challenge test – Evaluates how the lungs react to an inhaled irritant and helps doctors diagnose asthma
  • Pulmonary function tests:
    • Arterial blood gas (ABG) – Measures the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood
    • Lung diffusion capacity – Assesses how well oxygen gets into the blood when you breathe
    • Six-minute walk test – Measures exercise capacity of the lungs and monitors responses to lung treatments
    • Lung volume test – Measures how much air your lungs can hold
    • Spirometry – Measures how much air your lungs can hold and how quickly and forcefully you can blow air out
  • Pulse oximetry – Measures blood oxygen level to determine whether there is enough or more oxygen is needed

Pulmonary Procedures

You may also need a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure, such as:

  • Bronchoscopy – Slides a thin tube with a light and camera into the airways to show the inside
  • Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) – Combines bronchoscopy with ultrasound imaging for a clearer image of the airways
  • Lung biopsy – Removes a small lung tissue sample to examine it for cancer and other lung diseases
  • Navigational bronchoscopy – Uses computed tomography (CT) imaging and special software to map your airways and provide a quicker diagnosis
  • Right heart catheterization (pulmonary artery catheterization) – Guides a thin, flexible tube through a vein to take pressure measurements and blood samples in the lungs; sometimes done with nitric oxide administered to diagnose and evaluate for pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • Thoracentesis – Removes extra fluid from around the lungs

Get Screened

If you are a current or former smoker, ask your doctor about a lung cancer screening. It could save your life.