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Diagnostic Tests for Respiratory symptoms

Diagnostic Test list for Respiratory symptoms:

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Respiratory symptoms includes:

  • Physical examination
    • Inspect sputum for color and consistency if possibleBlood pressure, pulse rate, temperature
    • Examine lymph nodes looking for enlarged cervical or Axillary lymph nodes which may indicate lung cancer
    • Examine for Horner's syndrome - e.g. dilated pupil and drooping of the upper eyelid which may indicate lung cancer.
    • Examine for possible causes of postnasal drip - e.g. sinusitis, ear infection, nasal polyps.
    • Examine lungs noting breath sounds and their intensity and also the presence of added sounds. Crackles suggest congestive heart failure, pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, lung fibrosis or bronchiectasis. Wheezes suggest asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema
    • Examine cardiovascular system for evidence of left ventricular failure
    • Examine for enlarged liver and spleen which may suggest a systemic disease involving the lungs - e.g. polyarteritis nodosa, sarcoidosis.
  • Blood tests
    • Full blood count for evidence of infection, anemia or cell changes with asthma
    • ESR may be elevated with any bacterial chest infection, bronchiectasis, tuberculosis, lung abscess or lung cancer
    • Serology for atypical pneumonia organisms - e.g. mycoplasma, chlamydia and pertussis.
    • Blood cultures if fever is present
  • Sputum tests
    • Sputum microscopy and culture
    • Sputum culture for acid fast bacilli to rule out tuberculosis if suspected
  • Lung function tests - can help distinguish between obstructive lung disease (e.g. asthma, emphysema and bronchitis) and restrictive lung disease (e.g. pulmonary fibrosis).
  • Skin prick allergy testing may be valuable in asthma
  • Arterial blood gases - to look for signs of pulmonary embolism, pneumothorax, pneumonia and other lung diseases.
  • Radiological investigations
    • Chest X-Ray can show many lung problems and show signs of left ventricular heart failure such as an enlarged heart
    • Sinus X-Ray or CT Scan to pick up sinusitis which may case post-nasal drip and chronic cough
    • CT scan or MRI scan of chest - more sensitive then chest X-Ray, used to further characterize abnormalities found on Chest X-Ray.
    • Barium swallow can detect gastro-esophageal reflux, esophageal diverticulum
    • Echocardiogram may be required to diagnose left ventricular failure
    • Ventilation - perfusion scan to exclude pulmonary embolism.
    • Pulmonary angiography if ventilation- perfusion scan is inconclusive in ruling out pulmonary embolism
  • Fiberoptic Bronchoscopy with or without lung biopsy - may detect lung cancer, bronchiectasis, foreign body, chronic fibrotic lung disease, sarcoidosis.
  • Esophageal pH monitoring - may be required to diagnose gastro-esophageal reflux.
  • Tuberculin skin test - may diagnose tuberculosis, but misleading if previous BCG vaccination.
  • Cardiac catheterization and pulmonary angiography - may be needed to identify acute pulmonary embolism, chronic recurrent pulmonary embolism, intra-cardiac shunts and pulmonary hypertension.
  • Exercise testing - can be helpful in distinguishing between lung and heart disease and also assessing fitness.
  • Electrocardiograph (ECG) - to look for signs of heart attack and some causes of congestive cardiac failure.

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Respiratory symptoms causes:

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Respiratory symptoms:

The following list of conditions have 'Respiratory symptoms' 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 Respiratory symptoms or choose View All.

View All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Conditions listing medical complications: Respiratory symptoms:

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


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