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Broncoscopy and CT Scans...


Went back to Cons last week - expecting slightly different news to that I received!

I have been told that my Spiro tests showed some sort of Lung function issues, thus needing further investigations with a CT scan and Broncoscopy...

I asked if it was something I should be overly concerned over and told the standard ""wait and see what results show""...

I have done the panicking bit now for a few days and this wish to ask around here how common is ths - no-one I know has had this done... the Cons suggested that my problems were now not actually caused by the asthma, but rather the asthma like symptoms were merely a symptom of the problem or some such like...

Have to admit I am stressing myself out little....could so with some positive words - if any to be had!

Thank you all

13 Replies

Hi there,

I'm sorry to hear that you've had this news that you weren't expecting. I'm not surprised that you're worried and concerned.

There are several different reasons why tests like a CT scan and bronchoscopy are done. Sometimes they are done simply as part of the investigation of severe asthma (I have had a CT for this reason) and in other cases they are done because the lung function tests have shown a result which is not entirely consistent with 'just' asthma, and the docs want more information about what is going on in your lungs. It sounds like this might be the case with you.

I know it's very easy to say, but please try not to worry until you know what is going on. There are many possible causes for this kind of scenario, and it may well not be anything serious.

I'm sorry I can't offer any more definitive words of comfort, but I do wish you all the best, and please do let us know how you get on.

Take care

Em H


Thanks for your message...

I also gathered it wasn't ""just asthma""...

The only kind of scenarios I have heard of are not positive...can you suggest what scenarios it can be...???


Well 2 reasons they could do a CT scan are for

? Bhronciastasis (sp?)

or ? Inhaled foreign body

'cos thats why i had mine after a few inconsitancies on my spiro but it turned out to be neither of them and nothing to worry about.

Hope it all goes ok for you


Emma x


Without knowing the exact abnormality that they found on your lung function tests, it's difficult to know exactly what they would be looking for on a CT scan or bronchoscopy.

Emma is right that bronchiectasis is certainly one of the things they might be looking for. Other things could include emphysema, tuberculosis, interstitial lung disease and diseases of the pleura (the lining of the lungs). All of these can potentially be serious, but they are not necessarily so. Equally, they may find nothing abnormal on further testing - I know of plenty of people who have had these sorts of tests for some non-specific abnormality on their lung function and have had nothing abnormal found.

I know it is very hard when you are waiting for a test, but there may well be nothing to worry about.

Hope this helps

Em H


Thanks Emily and Em...

I know I shouldn't worry - but I seem to have gone from apparently asthma triggered by some unknown but bound to be an allergy to this...

What is the likelihood that the CT scan etc shows up nothing to worry about - I assume that they do not send people for these williy nilly due to cost and I got the distinct feeling the Doc already knows what it will show...


As I said, this is all really just guess-work without knowing what abnormality was seen on your lung function tests. I doubt very much that the consultant knows what the tests are going to show - lung function tests are fairly non-specific and don't point exactly to a specific diagnosis in most cases, which is why further tests are often required.

I don't have a figure for what the likelihood is that the CT scan will show nothing to worry about - it's impossible to estimate, particularly without knowing what exactly the lung function tests showed. I will say, though, that when I worked in hospital respiratory medicine, and used to order these tests, a fair few used to come back normal, so it's not unheard of.

Do let us know how you get on

Em H


I know what you are going through at the minute i had to have a CT scan which did not show anything and have know got to have a broncoscopy to see if it will help them as they do not know if there is any airway remoulding happening as they say i'm a difficult case as some results say yes have severe asthma then some do not it is hard to work aout what they think is wrong with you. I must admit not ;looking forward to the broncoscopy at all just wainting to hear when.

hope that you get on ok and to let you know that you are not the only to have these tests done


re broncoscopy


i can only talk about broncoscopy as i have had 4 done in the last 5 years.

the procedure for me was as such

Fasting from 10.am

an hour before procedure i was given bricanyl neb

taken down to

endoscopy unit iv line put in

before i had broncoscopy done had to take two sprays for my throat

then i dont remember anything else as i was sedated and i remember waking up back in my bed on nasal oxygen for a short time two hours after procedure i was allowed tea and toast it was not an unpleasant experience but i was a bit apprenshive before i had it done

forget to say before procedure i had chest x-ray and breathing tests done

hope this helps



Thank you all for your kind words of reassurance!

I have been ill for such a while now - which in itself is so uncharacteristically of my asthma - usually have odd bouts of a couple of weeks in duration not 6 months!

I know that there being a lung function issue could mean a host of things...and I also know I shouldn't panic...but being told that they no longer think it is the asthma causing this was soooooooo disconcerting!

Suppose can't do anything about it now...so best panic if/when there is something to panic about!



Just to let you know that i am going through a very similar experience after a recent visit to the con. Not typical asthma syptoms plus one test i had during an admission showed signs to point towards another diagnosis. I can relate to the anxiety of playing the waiting game, but like you said its not worth lossing sleep over somethiing that we have little control over and when we have no answers.

Either way i would just like a certain diagnosis so that i can receive the best treatment, its just better to know...

How long have you got to wait?? Happy for you to pm me to keep our chins up during our wait..no pressure..but do take care and hope all goes well..

Cory x


Hi Cory

Sorry to hear you're in the same boat...


Been told both should be done withint next fortnight...not sure if the speed of that is a good thing or symbolic of a bad?!

Think I was happier when everyone assumed it was asthma making me this bad...now I feel I am in no-man's land with all sort of horrible things going around my head...

One little search on Mr Google for lungs+ct+scan+broncoscopy just about did me in!


How long have you been suffering?


suffering for the past 18 months with things just gradually getting worse...ie steriods taking longer to work and too many course to mention and some admissions..generally bad days with one or two good days thrown in during the past 6 months..

I too have done the google search and its not good for easing the concerns, hence now just trying to push it too the back of my mind until my appointment at the begining of April...

The con said that rather saying i was not a typical asthmatic, he would rather rule everything out before treating me as atypical..at least that could be seen as positive and a good all round MOT is never a bad thing (lungs excluded as either way they are a problem)

Hope that you take someone with you to appointments just for company and second pair of ears...

Good job we have easter and chocolate to ease the tension...any excuse

Take Care Cory x


I am so scared

I had a ct scan done yesterday as I had a bad asthma attack two weeks ago.. it was the first time i've had to go to hospital and it was horrible. They had me on back to back nebulisers for three days, I had a chest xray, that horrible blood test done in your wrist as they couldnt get my oxygen level up or something like that..with oxygen on the clip on my finger read 94 or just below. The following day on ward they gave me two magnesium drips... but for me the worst part was when the consultant walked in and told me that I had an interesting crackle at the bottom of my left lung and that I needed to have a ct scan as something had showed up on my chest xray... she said they arent looking for cancer.

I am so so scared


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