Several tests are commonly used in the diagnosis and monitoring of pneumoconiosis.
- A detailed medical, occupational and environmental history and physical examination are always required.
- Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are measured to determine the percentage of lung capacity and function that may have been lost due to scarring.
- Measurement of arterial blood gases (ABGs) are used to determine if the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the alveoli is impaired.
- Imaging procedures, such as chest X-rays and CT scans, are used to visualize the nodules and scarring in the lungs. Physicians trained as B-readers may review the chest X-ray in order to classify the nodules or scars by their distribution, size and shape.