Pneumonia: Tests and Diagnosis

What tests are used to diagnose pneumonia?

Your child’s doctor may order a chest x-ray to diagnose pneumonia. The cause of some types of pneumonia can be determined by culturing the bacteria taken from the mucus an ill child produces from coughing. This helps doctors determine what types of treatments will work best. Some viral pneumonias can be diagnosed by testing nasal secretions.

How do providers at Children’s Hospital Colorado make a diagnosis?

Doctors usually make a pneumonia diagnosis after asking about your child’s symptoms and examining your child. The doctor also might order a chest x-ray, blood tests, tests for viruses in nasal secretions or bacterial cultures of mucus produced by coughing in some cases.