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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Thoracic Cavity (Chest) Tests & Procedures

Your doctor will listen to your breathe with a stethoscope. If pneumothorax or atelectasis is suspected, no breathing sounds will be apparent as you inhale and exhale.

Other tests performed may include:

  • Chest X-ray: this will be used to determine whether there is air leaking outside the lung

  • Chest computed tomography (CT) scan: this cross-sectional imaging of the chest will offer better resolution than the traditional X-ray

  • Bronchoscopy: a bronchoscope is a device used to see the inside of the lungs, and may be flexible or rigid. The flexible bronchoscope is a thin tube passed through the mouth or nose, down the trachea, and into the lungs, and lets your doctor collect samples of cells

  • Arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis: this blood test will be used to measure oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in your blood, and can also measure the acidity (pH) of your blood

  • Mediastinoscopy: is a surgical procedure that lets your doctor examine the middle of your chest to identify the cause of any abnormal masses or determine if a cancer has spread to the lymph nodes

  • Sternotomy: is a surgical incision that allows access to the heart, thymus and lungs


Last UpdateFebruary 14, 2012