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What tests are used to diagnose idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)?

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IPF is when scar tissues inside your lungs make it hard to breathe. Your doctor also will give you one or more of these tests:

  • Chest X-ray.
  • Exercise test on a bike or treadmill to measure your blood oxygen levels.
  • High-resolution CT to make a picture of your lungs. It can show how serious you IPF is and, possibly, what might have caused it.
  • Biopsy, which removes a small tissue sample from your lung for examination with a microscope.
  • Pulse oximetry and arterial blood gas tests to measure how much oxygen is in your blood.
  • Spirometry. You blow into a device to measure well your lungs work.

SOURCES:

American Thoracic Society: "Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)."

Cleveland Clinic: "Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis."

Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis: "Facts About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis," "What is Pulmonary Fibrosis?"

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Treated?" "What is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?" "Living With Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis."

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation: "About PF."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Paul Boyce on December 11, 2019

SOURCES:

American Thoracic Society: "Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)."

Cleveland Clinic: "Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis."

Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis: "Facts About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis," "What is Pulmonary Fibrosis?"

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Treated?" "What is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?" "Living With Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis."

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation: "About PF."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Paul Boyce on December 11, 2019

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What are some questions for your doctor about idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)?

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