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What are the tests for pulmonary vascular disease?

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Based on your symptoms, signs, and history, your doctor may begin to suspect you have pulmonary vascular disease. The diagnosis of pulmonary vascular disease is usually made using one or more of the following tests:

Computed tomography (CT scan): A CT scanner takes multiple X-rays, and a computer constructs detailed images of the lungs and chest. CT scanning can usually detect a pulmonary embolism in a pulmonary artery. CT scans can also uncover problems affecting the lungs themselves.

Ventilation/perfusion scan (V/Q scan): This nuclear medicine test takes pictures of how well your lungs fill with air. Those images are compared to pictures of how well blood flows through the pulmonary blood vessels. Unmatched areas may suggest a pulmonary embolism (blood clot) is present.

Echocardiography (echocardiogram): An ultrasound video of the beating heart. Congestive heart failure, heart valve disease, and other conditions contributing to pulmonary vascular disease can be discovered with echocardiogram.

Right heart catheterization: A pressure sensor is inserted through a needle into a vein in the neck or groin. A doctor advances the sensor through the veins, into the right heart, then into the pulmonary artery. Right heart catheterization is the best test to diagnose pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Chest X-ray film: A simple chest X-ray can't diagnose pulmonary vascular disease. However, it may identify contributing lung disease, or show enlarged pulmonary arteries that suggest pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Pulmonary angiography (angiogram): Contrast dye is injected into the blood, and X-ray images of the chest show detailed images of the pulmonary arterial system. Angiography is very good at diagnosing pulmonary embolism but is rarely performed anymore because CT scans are easier, less invasive, and have lower risk.

From: Pulmonary Vascular Disease WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Mason, R. 4th , Elsevier Saunders, 2005. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicineeditionh

American Lung Association: "Understanding Pulmonary Vascular Disease."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on August 17, 2017

SOURCES:

Mason, R. 4th , Elsevier Saunders, 2005. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicineeditionh

American Lung Association: "Understanding Pulmonary Vascular Disease."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on August 17, 2017

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