Tests and diagnosisBy Mayo Clinic Staff
To diagnose atelectasis and determine the underlying cause, your doctor may order tests, including:
June 11, 2015
- Chest X-ray. A chest X-ray usually can diagnose atelectasis. Occasionally, a foreign body, a common cause of obstructive atelectasis in children and adults, may be seen on this type of imaging.
- CT scan. CT is more sensitive than plain X-ray in detecting atelectasis because it can measure lung volumes in all or part of a lung. A CT scan can also help determine whether a tumor may have caused your lung to collapse — something that may not show up on a regular X-ray.
- Oximetry. This simple test uses a small device placed on one of your fingers to measure the oxygen saturation in your blood.
- Bronchoscopy. A flexible, lighted tube threaded down your throat enables your doctor to see and possibly remove, at least partially, obstructions in your airway, such as a mucus plug, tumor or foreign body.
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