Chronic Lung Disease in Infants
Exams and Tests
There is no one test to diagnose chronic lung disease. A doctor may first suspect it if your baby has trouble breathing. The diagnosis is confirmed when one of the following is present:
- The baby needs extra oxygen for at least 28 days after birth.
- At 36 weeks of Reference gestational age Opens New Window, the baby needs more oxygen than is present in ordinary air. Gestational age is the number of weeks and days a baby has developed since the beginning of the pregnancy, or gestation.
Babies with chronic lung disease usually have regular blood tests (including a Reference blood gas test) to monitor how well their lungs are working. These tests may be done until the baby can breathe without extra oxygen.
A number of tests may be done to rule out other causes of difficulty breathing and to learn whether complications of chronic lung disease are present.
- A baby may have an Reference electrocardiogram Opens New Window and an Reference echocardiogram Opens New Window to see how well the heart is working. Echocardiograms are usually repeated every 2 to 3 months until 4 to 6 months after Reference oxygen therapy Opens New Window has stopped.
- A baby may have a Reference lung function test to find out how much damage has been done to the lungs. This test is repeated regularly as the child gets older. After results are normal, a child may no longer need lung function tests.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference April 27, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Jennifer Merchant, MD - Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine