HOW PH-ILD IS DIAGNOSED
Importance of early diagnosis
Since PH-ILD is a progressive disease and its symptoms may be hidden, it’s important for your doctor to perform tests that will identify it.
Your doctor may check how well your lungs and heart are working, as well as your ability to be active, with a series of tests. These tests may include blood tests, ultrasounds of your heart, exercise, and lung function tests.
Some of the tests your doctor may perform are:
Pulmonary function tests (PFTs)
PFTs are noninvasive tests that measure lung volume, capacity, and function. This information can tell your doctor how well your lungs are working.
A 6-minute walk test (6MWT)
The 6MWT can give your doctor a good clue about how much your lung disease could be impacting your ability to stay active. It measures how far you can walk in 6 minutes.
An NT-proBNP test
NT-proBNP is a measure of strain on the heart and can be detected by a blood test. Your doctor can check your NT-proBNP levels over time to see how the strain on your heart may be changing. If the numbers are higher, there is more strain on the heart; if the numbers are lower, there is less strain on the heart.
An echocardiogram (echo)
An echo uses sound waves to produce images of your heart. This allows your doctor to see your heart beating and pumping blood.
NT-proBNP=N-terminal pro–B-type natriuretic peptide; PH=pulmonary hypertension.