Austin Pulmonary Consultants uses various imaging modalities to help determine the underlying cause of your pulmonary disease or condition.
These imaging tests show detail of the lung tissue, pleural space, and chest.
The most common testing is listed below:
The chest x-ray is the easiest test to understand. It takes a single picture of the chest. Most doctors use the x-ray to decide if additional imaging tests are needed. If they see an abnormal area, they may order more in-depth scans such as a chest CT scan.
Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
A CT scan expands upon the x-ray. It takes detailed pictures of the lungs and chest cavity and provides a much more detailed image.
The CT scan also holds other benefits, namely, pinpointing the size, location, and shape of an abnormality or tumor. The CT scan often points out enlarged lymph nodes, too. The abnormalities on the screen might not be cancerous; small, abnormal areas, called nodules or masses, routinely appear on the scans of current or former smokers. Those nodules could be scar tissue or the byproduct of a past respiratory infection. To figure out whether the nodules are cancerous, a doctor may require additional tests.
In most cases, the next step involves ordering a repeat CT scan. The next scan could be a month from now or a year, depending on your symptoms and the doctor’s concerns. If the nodule seems to have grown at that time, the doctor will require additional imaging and testing.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan
Positron emission tomography (PET) evaluates the metabolic activity of a nodule or other pulmonary abnormality and can help determine if the abnormality is from inflammation or potentially cancer. This information is typically used in conjunction with a chest CT.
To set up an appointment with Austin Pulmonary Consultants, call our North Office at (512) 977-0123 or South Office at (512) 441-9799.
Additional information about imaging may be found on our resources page.