Diagnosis
Bronchiectasis

Because many of bronchiectasis’ symptoms are similar to other conditions such as asthma or pneumonia, your doctor may need to perform several tests to make an accurate diagnosis. He or she will begin by listening to your breathing with a stethoscope. Then, several of the following tests may be performed:

  • Chest x-ray
    A chest x-ray may or may not show airway damage associated with bronchiectasis, and other tests may be needed.

  • Chest Computed Tomography (CT) scan
    This is the most common test for bronchiectasis because the CT scan produces images of the airway that show the extent of the damage and the area most affected.

  • Sputum Culture
    A sample of your sputum (mucus that you are coughing up) will be sent to a laboratory to identify which germs are causing the infection.

  • Fiberoptic Bronchoscopy
    A fiberoptic bronchoscopy may need to be performed, especially if the symptoms of the disease appeared suddenly, to ensure that there are no foreign bodies or tumors blocking the airways.

  • Pulmonary Function Test (PFT)
    A pulmonary function test can determine the severity of abnormal airflow out of the lungs.

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
    A sample of your blood will be sent to a laboratory so that it can be examined for signs of anemia or infection.

  • Sweat Test
    This test is used to look for signs of cystic fibrosis. A medication that causes you to sweat will be applied to your skin, and a sample of your sweat will be collected. It is then tested in a laboratory to determine the amount of salt in your sweat. Those suffering from cystic fibrosis will have a significantly greater amount of salt content in their sweat than the average person.



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