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Diagnostic Tests for Breathing difficulties

Diagnostic Test list for Breathing difficulties:

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Breathing difficulties includes:

  • Physical examination
    • Blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature
    • Inspect for blueness of tongue and skin, reduced alertness and distress due to breathing problems
    • Lung examination to listen to breath sound quality , intensity and for added sounds. Crackles suggest congestive heart failure, pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, lung fibrosis or bronchiectasis. Wheezes suggest asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema
    • Abdominal examination for enlarged liver which may be a sign of congestive heart failure
  • Blood tests
    • Full blood count to exclude anemia as cause of breathing difficulties and also to detect signs of infection, inflammation and asthma ( increased eosinophil cells)
    • Renal function tests and electrolytes
    • Serial cardiac enzymes and troponin to detect cardiac damage from heart attack
    • Arterial blood gases - to look for signs of pulmonary embolism, pneumothorax, pneumonia and other lung diseases.
  • Other tests
    • Cardiac catheterization and pulmonary angiography - may be needed to identify acute pulmonary embolism, chronic recurrent pulmonary embolism, intra-cardiac shunts and pulmonary hypertension.
    • Bronchoscopy - may be needed to exclude foreign body, lung cancer, bronchiectasis and sarcoidosis.
    • Sputum microscopy and culture - to detect bacterial and fungal causes of pneumonia and exacerbations of bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis.
    • Sputum acid-fast stains for tuberculosis if indicated and routine sputum stains are negative
    • Mantoux test skin testing - if suspicious for tuberculosis active infection.
    • Electrocardiograph (ECG) - to look for signs of heart attack and some causes of congestive cardiac failure.
    • Pulmonary function tests - can be useful in diagnosing asthma and distinguishing pulmonary fibrosis from emphysema.
    • Exercise testing - can be helpful in distinguishing between lung and heart disease and also assessing fitness.
    • Radiological investigations congestive cardiac failure
    • Ventilation - perfusion scan to exclude pulmonary embolism.
    • Pulmonary angiography if ventilation- perfusion scan is inconclusive in ruling out pulmonary embolism
    • Echocardiogram can help diagnose congestive cardiac failure

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Breathing difficulties causes:

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Breathing difficulties:

The following list of conditions have 'Breathing difficulties' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Breathing difficulties or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Breathing difficulties:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Breathing difficulties' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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