Testing and Screening

CT Scans

Computed tomography (CT) is a type of imaging method that uses special X-ray equipment to create highly detailed pictures of the body. Most modern machines take continuous pictures as they scan the body. These newer machines are faster and can detect smaller abnormalities. 

Undergoing CT scanning is a painless procedure. During a CT scan, patients lie on a table that moves slowly through the center of a large X-ray machine. Sometimes contrast dye is used during a CT scan to highlight specific areas of the body. The dye may be given by mouth, injected into a vein, given by enema, or given in a combination of ways prior to the scan.

In addition to chest screenings, CT scans can be used to evaluate patients for a variety of conditions or abnormalities head to toe. It can be used to diagnose circulatory system diseases, such as coronary artery disease, aneurysms, and blood clots; spinal cord conditions; kidney disease and kidney stones; abscesses; inflammatory diseases, such as ulcerative colitis; and traumatic injuries to the head, bones, and internal organs. It is also useful in screening, diagnosis, and staging of many types of cancer.

Endoscopy

Pulmonary endoscopy, also called bronchoscopy, is a procedure that enables clinicians to view the airways of the lungs to diagnose various diseases. It can also be used to treat certain conditions. During the procedure a flexible scope is passed via the mouth or nose through the windpipe (trachea) and into the lungs. If the scope is placed through the nose, the upper airways are primarily visualized. If the scope is placed through the mouth, the deeper airways can be evaluated.

Patients who undergo bronchoscopy are usually awake but sedated during the procedure. A numbing medication is used in the mouth and throat or the nose to help the scope move into the trachea. Sometimes the clinician will inject saline through the scope to wash the lungs and collect samples of cells, fluids, and other material in the airways. This is called a lavage. Biopsies may also be taken during bronchoscopy.

Bronchoscopy can be used to evaluate or treat people for many lung conditions. Bronchoscopy can help clinicians diagnose lung cancer, coughing up blood, foreign objects in the airway, chronic cough, lung infections, inhaled toxins, and lung rejection after transplant. Bronchoscopy can also help clinicians treat patients by removing mucus plugs, draining abscesses, or removing foreign objects. 

Sleep Studies

Sleep studies are tests in a lab designed especially to monitor your sleep.  Air flow through your mouth and nose, breathing movements, oxygen levels, and respiratory effort are all studied at one time to see how well you breath and oxygenate your blood during sleep.  In addition, your brain waves are recorded in a simple fashion to assess your level of sleep and the efficiency of your sleep.  This complex test takes an overnight evaluation but it may answer many of your doctors’ questions about how well and how healthily you sleep each night.

The Physicians East Sleep Center located at 1711 E. Arlington Boulevard in Greenville, is capable of performing a wide variety of sleep tests that can help diagnose a range of sleep disorders, like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. To learn more about our sleep center, visit our Sleep Medicine service section.

Lab Testing/Pathology

At Physicians East, we aim to provide comprehensive, quality healthcare to our all of our patients including patients seen in our pulmonary office. We offer a full range of testing at our on-site laboratory. Our specially trained pathology staff can analyze a variety of blood and tissue samples to help clinicians diagnose and treat our patients. 

The on-site laboratory means that our patients do not have to travel to an off-site location for testing, and the process of giving blood or tissue samples is performed in a familiar, stress-free environment. Having on-site services also means that the specimens are processed faster so that our patients can receive their results as soon as possible.

Our on-site laboratory uses state-of-the-art instruments to provide quick and accurate results for a wide variety of tests including:

  • Blood tests such as glucose, PT/INR (i.e., coumadin) monitoring, and cholesterol levels
  • Nasal swabs for influenza (the flu)
  • Pregnancy tests
  • Preventive screening tests
  • Rapid strep tests
  • Tests for sexually transmitted diseases
  • Urinalysis

For more information about our on-site laboratory testing or to make an appointment with one of our health care providers, please contact the location nearest you.