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Overview of Tests for Lung Disorders
After doctors complete the medical history and physical examination (see Medical History and Physical Examination for Lung Disorders), they often take a chest x-ray (see Chest Imaging). The results of the history, physical examination, and chest x-ray often suggest what additional testing may be needed to determine what is causing the person's symptoms. Doctors may test for lung disorders by measuring the lungs' capacity to hold and move air and to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. These tests (called pulmonary function tests—see Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT)) are most helpful in determining the general type of lung disorder and determining the severity. Other tests, including imaging (see Chest Imaging), bronchoscopy (see Bronchoscopy), and thoracoscopy (see Thoracoscopy), allow doctors to determine the specific cause of a lung disorder.
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