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What tests are used to diagnose idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?

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Your doctor also will give you one or more of these tests:

  • Chest X-ray. It uses radiation in low doses to make images of organs inside your body.
  • Exercise test. You walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike while someone checks the levels of oxygen in your blood through a probe on your fingertip or attached to your forehead.
  • High-resolution Chest CT, or computed tomography. This is a powerful X-ray that makes detailed pictures of your lungs. It can help find out how severe your idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is and possibly the cause.
  • Biopsy. The doctor removes small pieces of your lung tissue and examines them under a microscope. This may be done with surgery or with a flexible tube fitted with a small camera that looks down your throat and into your lungs. The flexible tube approach is called abronchoscopy. During the bronchoscopy the doctor will use fluid to wash out your lungs and remove cells to study them. This usually happens in a hospital, and you'll be asleep for it.
  • Pulse oximetry and arterial blood gas tests. They measure how much oxygen is in your blood.
  • Spirometry. You blow as hard as you can into a mouthpiece attached to a device called a spirometer. It measures how well your lungs are working by showing how much air you can blow out.

From: Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis WebMD Medical Reference

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 Brunilda Nazario on July 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 Brunilda Nazario on July 11, 2019

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

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