Blood tests or cultures. Blood tests may help
antibodies to a specific organism that can cause
pneumonia are present or whether specific viruses, such as influenza (flu) or
respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), are present. Doctors can use blood cultures to test for bacteria in your
oximeter can estimate the amount of oxygen in your
blood. A sensor in a cuff or clip is placed on the end of your finger. This
sensor measures how much oxygen is in your blood. The oximeter machine shows
Arterial blood gases. An arterial blood gas test can
measure the levels of oxygen in a sample of blood drawn from your artery.
Doctors use this test to find out whether enough oxygen is getting into your
bloodstream from your lungs.
Bronchoscopy. Bronchoscopy is a visual exam of the
tubes leading to your lungs. This test is usually done by a pulmonologist (lung
specialist). He or she inserts a small, lighted device through your nose or
mouth into the tubes leading to your lungs. During the procedure, the doctor
can obtain samples of tissue, fluid, or mucus.
Transtracheal mucus cultures (rarely done). Transtracheal sputum cultures are tests performed on a
mucus sample obtained directly from your windpipe
Lung biopsy. A lung biopsy is a test done on a very
small piece of lung tissue to look for conditions such as lung cancer or
fibrous tissue in the lungs (pulmonary fibrosis). Your doctor obtains lung
tissue by inserting a needle into your chest between two ribs or by using
Thoracentesis. Thoracentesis involves puncturing the
chest wall to obtain fluid from the space around the lungs. Fluid obtained
during the test can be checked for signs of infection or cancer.
Computed tomography (CT) scan. A CT scan uses X-rays
to produce detailed pictures of structures inside your body. It may be used in
people who are not responding to their treatment.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerR. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology