Cough: Tests and Diagnosis

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

Your provider will discuss your child’s symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Based on this information the provider may recommend a treatment or suggest more tests to determine the cause of your child’s cough.

What tests are used to diagnose the cause of a cough?

Many causes of cough do not require tests to make a diagnosis. Tests that are commonly used to diagnose the cause of a cough include chest x rays, pulse oximetry, lung function testing, and tests for infection. Other tests that may be recommended include swallowing tests, chest CTs, a sweat test for cystic fibrosis, blood work or bronchoscopy (.pdf)  (using a tiny fiber optic camera to look in the airways and lungs).