Pulmonology is a medical speciality that deals with diseases involving the respiratory tract. Pulmonology also known as chest medicine and respiratory medicine in some countries and areas. Pulmonology is considered a branch of internal medicine and often involves managing patients who need life support and mechanical ventilation. Pulmonologists are specially trained in diseases and conditions of the chest, particularly pneumonia, asthma, tuberculosis, emphysema, and complicated chest infections.

Major surgical procedures on the heart and lungs are performed by a thoracic surgeon. Pulmonologists often perform specialized procedures to get samples from the inside of the chest or inside of the lung. They use radiographic techniques to view vasculature of the lungs and heart to assist with diagnosis.

  • Laboratory investigation of blood (blood tests). Sometimes arterial blood gas measurements are also required.
  • Spirometry the determination of maximum airflow at a given lung volume as measured by breathing into a dedicated machine; this is the key test to diagnose airflow obstruction.
  • Pulmonary Function Tests spirometry, as above, plus response to bronchodilators, lung volumes, and diffusion capacity, the latter a measure of lung oxygen absorptive area
  • Bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), endobronchial and transbronchial biopsy and epithelial brushing
  • Chest X-rays
  • CT scanning (MRI scanning is rarely used)
  • Scintigraphy and other methods of nuclear medicine
  • Positron emission tomography (especially in lung cancer)Polysomnography (sleep studies) commonly used for the diagnosis of Sleep apnea
  • Polysomnography (sleep studies) commonly used for the diagnosis of Sleep apnea
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