What is the role of lab studies in the evaluation of intrinsic lung disease causes of restrictive lung disease?

Updated: Sep 16, 2020
  • Author: Jonathan Robert Caronia, DO; Chief Editor: John J Oppenheimer, MD  more...
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Answer

Routine laboratory evaluations often fail to reveal positive findings. However, anemia can indicate vasculitis, polycythemia can indicate hypoxemia in advanced disease, and leukocytosis can suggest acute hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

The decision to perform additional tests should be directed by the findings of the clinical assessment. Antinuclear antibodies, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and rheumatoid factor should be measured to screen for collagen-vascular disorders, creatine kinase for polymyositis, antineutrophilic cytoplasmic antibodies for vasculitis, and antiglomerular basement membrane antibody for Goodpasture syndrome.

The presence of precipitating antibodies to an antigen may help in diagnosing hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Serum angiotensin-converting enzyme levels are often elevated in patients with sarcoidosis, but this finding has poor specificity. The Kveim test can be used to detect sarcoidosis.


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