How do doctors test for and diagnose interstitial lung disease (ILD)?

It can be hard to diagnose ILD because symptoms can be similar to other lung conditions. Common tests might include:

  • Blood tests for certain autoimmune and genetic disorders
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan. This is an X-ray to check the lungs for signs of inflammation or swelling.
  • Spirometry and diffusion capacity. This test checks how much air your child’s lungs can hold. It also checks how quickly your child can move air in and out of his lungs.
  • Oximetry to test how much oxygen is in your child’s blood.
  • Biopsy. This is when a doctor removes a small piece of the lung and checks it under a microscope.
Rev. 4/2018. Reviewed by the MGHfC Family Advisory Council.