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What lab tests will I need after my lung transplant?

During the first six-week post-transplant period, you will have chest x-rays and blood tests every week and then at regular intervals, as necessary. The Columbia University Medical Center outpatient center has its own laboratory so that results from your blood tests can be available to your transplant team within 24 hours. This enables immediate and appropriate responses to any problems that are identified, prompting any necessary adjustments to your medications.

The following tests for blood count will be used:
  • WBC tells us if your white blood cells have increased (usually a sign of infection) or decreased (indicating a lower defense against infection).
  • HCT measures your hematocrit, the percentage of red blood cells present in your blood. Red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of the body. When your HCT is low, you may feel tired or have little energy.
  • PLTS measures the level of platelets in your blood. Platelet cells form blood clots when your body is injured. Low platelet levels may cause you to bruise easily and to bleed for a longer time period.

The following tests may be used to measure lung function:
  • PFTs: A noninvasive, outpatient test used to measure lung function
  • CXR: A radiologic examination to assess chest and lung abnormalities
  • CT scan of chest: An outpatient, noninvasive, radiologic test to assess your chest cavity, including your heart and lungs.
  • Bronchoscopy: An outpatient, minimally invasive procedure during which your pulmonologist looks at your lungs and airways (the bronchial tubes and lungs)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.