Diagnostic Evaluation of COPD

No changes in physical appearance are usually present with mild-to-moderate COPD. In advanced COPD, patients with emphysema may be wasted and thin, with normal-colored pink skin, while those with chronic bronchitis may have bluish lips and fingers, be obese, and may have swollen feet and legs. Breathing may be rapid and shallow, done through pursed lips, with prolonged exhales. Common differential diagnosis of COPD includes clinical history; physical examination; and diagnostic testing, such as lung function measurements, can help diagnose COPD. Chest radiography may rule out alternative diagnoses and comorbid conditions. Patients with COPD often present with diminished with Physical Examination which includes breath sounds, prolonged expiratory time, and expiratory wheezing that initially may occur only on forced expiration. Additional findings on physical examination include hyperinflation of the lungs with an increased anteroposterior chest diameter (“barrel chest”). Patients with more advanced disease may have pursed lip breathing or postures that relieve dyspnea. The presence of significant edema may indicate right-sided heart failure and cor-pulmonale in patients with pulmonary hypertension from severe long-standing COPD. Chest x-rays are rarely useful for diagnosing chronic bronchitis, although they sometimes show mild scarring and thickened airway walls. Non-invasive Methods for Determining Severity, and also the short exercise tests are very useful for determining the severity of COPD.

  • Medical History
  • Mucus
  • Chest X Ray
  • Lung Function Tests
  • ABG Analysis

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