New Diagnostic Test for Chest Conditions

Dr Neal Navani, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, explains how technology has radically improved the diagnosis of chest conditions. In his new article for totalhealth he explains that it is no longer necessary to have x-rays, CT Scans or even biopsies as these tests have been superseded by the method known as endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS).

The chest is traditionally a difficult area to visualise and so older tests used to involve a combination of x-rays, CT scans and standard bronchoscopy. However, in some cases even this battery of diagnostic procedures was not sufficient to obtain a reliable diagnosis of tuberculosis, sarcoidosis or cancer and any follow-up usually had to include an invasive biopsy with an operation and an overnight stay in hospital. 

However, today Dr Navani explains, “Patients can have a simple bronchoscopy with endobronchial ultrasound as a day case and will usually be leaving for home within an hour of the procedure being completed.” 

Dr Navani’s article answers many of the questions that most patients will have, and helps to ensure that patients are properly armed with the information they need to achieve an effective diagnosis. His article describes how the latest diagnostic developments have only been possible since the first miniaturised devices were developed and released in 2003. Since then the technique has been studied and subsequently used in clinical practice all over the world. He says, “It is a highly accurate and reliable outpatient test that is now accepted by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) as an important diagnostic technique in respiratory medicine.”

Read Dr Navani's article Diagnosing lung and chest conditions using Endobronchial Ultrasound

The removal of a small sample of cells or tissue so that it may be examined under a microscope. The term may also refer to the tissue sample itself. Full medical glossary
Any of the main air pipes beyond the windpipe, or trachea, which have cartilage in their wall. Full medical glossary
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intermittent claudication Full medical glossary
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Relating to the sense of sight (vision). Full medical glossary