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Bronchitis (cont.)

Chronic Bronchitis Diagnosis

Health-care professionals diagnose chronic bronchitis on the basis of the patient's symptoms and physical examination. By definition, chronic bronchitis must persist for most days of the month, for at least three months, and at least two years in a row. A history of smoking is also pertinent in making the diagnosis.

  • Usually no blood tests are necessary.
  • If pneumonia is suspected, a chest X-ray may be ordered.
  • Oxygen saturation (how well oxygen is reaching the blood cells) may be measured by placing a sensor on the finger. This is referred to as pulse oximetry.
  • Pulmonary function testing by a pulmonologist may be helpful in diagnosing chronic bronchitis.
  • A microscopic examination and/or culture of a sample of phlegm may be obtained to look for a bacterial infection.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/15/2014
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Bronchitis »

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, or bronchi.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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