FAQs - What other tests may be useful?
A computed tomography (CT) scan
This scan can take many small specialised pictures of the lungs. Although a CT scan is not routinely performed, it can provide more detail than a chest x-ray.
An arterial blood gases (ABGs) test
This is a blood test that measures how efficient your lungs are at bringing oxygen into the blood and removing carbon dioxide from the blood. As an ABGs test requires an injection into an artery, this test can be more painful than a standard blood test.
An oximetry test
This test is a way of indirectly measuring oxygen levels in your blood. This test is not painful and is commonly used to measure oxygen saturation, which indicates how much of the oxygen in your body is in red blood cells.
However, as this test can be less reliable than ABGs, ABGs will be used when a more accurate measure of oxygen levels is required, such as when deciding whether supplemental oxygen is required.
A sputum test
A sputum test is used to find out what type of infection is in your sputum and which antibiotics would be most effective against that infection.
Exercise tests done to assess your heart, lungs and muscles. Exercise testing will usually be performed as a walking test or on an exercise bike.
These tests can be done in an exercise laboratory, a gymnasium or on a walking track. In the laboratory, you will usually be asked to breathe through a mouthpiece connected to a machine.
This machine measures how much effort it takes you to exercise. You may also be connected to heart and oxygen monitors.