Pulmonologymedicine, pulmonology is the specialty that deals with diseases of the lungs and the respiratory tract. It is called chest medicine and respiratory medicine in some countries and areas. Pulmonology is generally considered a branch of internal medicine, although it is closely related to intensive care medicine when dealing with patients requiring mechanical ventilation. Surgery of the respiratory tract is generally performed by specialists in cardiothoracic surgery (or thoracic surgery).
|Table of contents|
3 Diseases managed by the pulmologist
4 Scientific research
- hereditary diseases affecting the lungs (cystic fibrosis, alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency)
- exposure to toxins (tobacco smoke, asbestos, exhaust fumes, coal mining fumes)
- exposure to infectious agents (certain types of birds, malt processing)
- an autoimmune diathesis that might predispose to certain conditions (pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension)
Other tools might include:
- Laboratory investigation of blood (blood tests). Sometimes arterial blood gas measurements are also required.
- Spirometry (the determination of lung volumes in time by breathing into a dedicated machine; response to bronchodilatators and diffusion of carbon monoxide)
- Bronchoscopy with biopsy and/or bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL)
- Chest X-rays
- CT scanning (MRI scanning is rarely used)
- Scintigraphy and other methods of nuclear medicine
- Positron emission tomography (especially in lung cancer)
TreatmentSurgical treatment in generally performed by the (cardio)thoracic surgeon, generally after primary evaluation by a pulmonologist.
Diseases managed by the pulmologist
Pulmonologists are involved in both clinical and basic research of the respiratory system, ranging from the anatomy of the bronchial epithelium to the most effective treatment of pulmonary hypertension (a disease notoriously resistant to therapy).
|Health science - Medicine|
|Anesthesiology - Dermatology - Emergency Medicine - General practice - Intensive care medicine - Internal medicine - Neurology - Obstetrics & Gynecology - Pediatrics - Public Health & Occupational Medicine - Psychiatry - Radiology - Surgery|
|Branches of Internal medicine|
|Cardiology - Endocrinology - Gastroenterology - Hematology - Infectious diseasess - Nephrology - Oncology - Pulmonology - Rheumatology|
|Branches of Surgery|
|General surgery - Cardiothoracic surgery - Neurosurgery - Ophthalmology - Orthopedic surgery - Otolaryngology (ENT) - Plastic surgery - Urology - Vascular surgery|