Diagnostic tests are performed to help your physician detect, identify, confirm, or rule out possible health conditions. They can also be used to monitor progression of diseases or evaluate the effectiveness of a treatment plan. Diagnostic tests can also help identify medical conditions before they worsen. There are many different types of diagnostic tests. Below are some of the most common ones we use to identify pulmonary conditions and sleep disorders.
ENDOBRONCHIAL ULTRASOUND BRONCHOSCOPY
Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) is a minimally invasive procedure used in the diagnosis of lung cancer, infections, and other lung disease. Our physicians are trained to use specialized bronchoscopic equipment that has additional ultrasound capabilities. This uses sound waves to visualize enlarged lymph nodes or other lesions near the main airways in lungs in real time. These lesions can then be biopsied with a high degree of safety and success.
EBUS is most commonly used to assess lymph nodes in the chest to evaluate for cancer metastasis. The preparation for EBUS bronchoscopy and recovery is similar to that of traditional bronchoscopy. Often, EBUS is performed with the support of an anesthesiologist to provide sedation and support breathing during the procedure.
Fiberoptic bronchoscopy (bron-kos-ko-pi) is a visual exam of the breathing passages of the lungs (called “airways”). This test is done when it is important for your doctor to see inside the airways of your lungs, or to get samples of mucus or tissue from the lungs. Bronchoscopy involves placing a thin tube-like instrument called a bronchoscope (bron’ko-sko-p) through the nose or mouth and down into the airways of the lungs. The tube has a mini-camera at its tip, and is able to carry pictures back to a video screen or camera.
LUNG FUNCTION STUDIES: METHACHOLINE OR CHALLENGE TEST
Challenge tests or challenge studies, are types of tests that measure if your lung function changes after you breathe in specific chemicals. In the United States, the most common chemical used in this test is methacholine. The chemical histamine may also be used in the test. In general, a challenge study may be done to see if you have asthma or how well your asthma medicine is working
PULMONARY FUNCTION TESTS
- Do not smoke for at least 4 hours before the test.
- Do not drink alcohol for at least 4 hours before the test.
- Do not exercise 30 minutes before the test.
- Do not wear tight clothing that makes it difficult to take a deep breath.
- Do not eat a large meal 2 hours before the test.
Thoracentesis (thor-a-sen-tee-sis) is a procedure that is done to remove a sample of fluid from around the lung. The lung is covered with a tissue called the pleura. The inside of the chest is also lined with pleura. The space between these two areas is called the pleural space. This space normally contains just a thin layer of fluid, however, some conditions such as pneumonia, cancer, or congestive heart failure may cause excessive fluid to develop (pleural effusion). To remove this fluid for evaluation (testing) or to reduce the amount of fluid, thoracentesis is done.