How is pulmonary Langerhans' cell histiocytosis (PLCH) diagnosed?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner
Diagnosing pulmonary Langerhans' cell histiocytosis (PLCH) often begins with a physical examination and a review of symptoms. If doctors notice abnormal lung function, they may perform several other tests. Often, an imaging test like a chest x-ray or CT scan can help a doctor see changes in the lungs that may be caused by PLCH. Doctors may also perform pulmonary function tests, which test the lungs' ability to breathe normally and oxidize the blood. If results of earlier tests aren't clear, doctors may biopsy the lungs by removing samples of lung tissue to analyze under a microscope. Several diseases (including lung cancer) share some symptoms with PLCH, so some tests are done to rule out those illnesses.

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