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Invasive Diagnostic Tests for Lung Disease

Invasive diagnostic tests for lung disease refer to any procedure in which tool or solution must be inserted into the lung, blood vessel or artery to confirm a diagnosis and gather information to develop the appropriate approach to treatment.   Your pulmonologist should review information about invasive diagnostic tests during your Q and A session prior to the procedure to discuss the benefits and risks.  Some of the common invasive tests include: Biopsy, Pulmonary Angiography, Cardiac Catheterization and the Arterial Blood Gas Test. Learn more about some of the common conditions these tests may be used for.

Arterial Blood Gas (ABG) – This test will allow one to tap through an artery so that the results can be brought to a respiratory laboratory for testing. ABG will demonstrate how effective the lungs can oxygenate the blood or remove carbon dioxide from it.

  • Asthma, Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis may be reasons to perform an Arterial Blood Gas Test.

Biopsy – A tissue biopsy through bronchoscopy allows for a sample of the abnormality to be removed and taken to a lab to determine pathological characteristics.

  • Lung Tissue Diseases through a Histo-pathologic means may require biopsy confirmation in the diagnosis.  
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis will show extensive fibers and scarring.
  • Sarcoidosis will show concretions of granuloma in the histopath slides.

Cardiac Catheterization – A small and long flexible tube is inserted in one of the major vessels and threaded to the heart for diagnosis.

  • Pulmonary Hypertension and other Lung Circulation Diseases may be confirmed with the appearance of an increase in the right ventricular pressure through Cardiac Catheterization.

Pulmonary Angiography – This test will require the introduction of a radioactive dye intravenously and a chest x-ray or CT scan is performed. The dye will elucidate the arterial tree of the lungs and show a “stop sign” at the point of blockade.

  • Lung Clot detection for the point of blockage may be determined.
  • Pulmonary Vascular Disease detection for the narrowing point.
  • Arterio-Venous Malformations (AVM) may also be elucidated as an abnormally enlarged vessel.

It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.