Interstitial Lung Diseases
Interstitial Lung Diseases

Interstitial Lung Diseases Diagnosis

Your healthcare provider will diagnose your ILD based on your symptoms, your medical and family histories, your risk factors, and the results from tests and procedures. You may need to see a pulmonologist, a doctor who specializes in lung diseases.

Diagnostic tests

Your healthcare provider may order one of these common tests to help diagnose an ILD.

  • Blood tests are used to look for signs of an infection or an autoimmune disease that can cause an ILD.
  • Lung tests include imaging tests like chest X-rays and CT scans that take pictures of your lungs. You may also do lung function tests that measure how much air you breathe out or how much air your lungs can hold. These tests help your doctor see how well your lungs are working.

Other tests

Sometimes your doctor may order other tests if they need more information to help diagnose an ILD.

  • Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL): During this test, your healthcare provider will collect fluid from your lungs. This fluid will be tested for high levels of white blood cells and other immune cells or for substances in your environment that can cause lung scarring.
  • Lung biopsy : Your healthcare provider will take a very small sample of your lung tissue. Your healthcare provider will check this sample to see if your lung tissue shows signs of inflammation, scarring, or other changes that happen when you have an ILD.
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