Pulmonary Atelectasis Workup
- Author: Michael R Bye, MD; Chief Editor: Michael R Bye, MD more...
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- Laboratory studies in pulmonary atelectasis should include measurement of oxygenation, either by oximetry or ABG.
- Pulmonary function studies may detect unrecognized airflow obstruction, restrictive disease, or decreased respiratory muscle pressures.
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- CT scanning
- Chest CT scanning may help evaluate for compression of the airway.
- CT scanning may also detect any underlying pathology that predisposes to atelectasis. It may also reveal diffuse disease not suggested by plain radiography.
- Chest radiography: Plain chest radiography is often the first study to reveal atelectasis.
- A study that evaluated the usefulness of lung ultrasonography for the diagnosis of neonatal pulmonary atelectasis reported that lung ultrasonography is an accurate and reliable method for diagnosing neonatal pulmonary atelectasis. The authors also added that lung ultrasonography can find concealed lung atelectasis that could not be detected on a chest radiograph.
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- Flexible or rigid bronchoscopy may help distinguish intrinsic obstruction from extrinsic compression. These tests can also better define the nature of any intrinsic obstructing lesion.
- Bronchoscopy offers the advantage of potential treatment. This can include removal of secretions with a rigid or flexible bronchoscope or removal of a foreign body, generally with a rigid bronchoscope.
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