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In medicine, 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).

Pulmonology is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of lung diseases, as well as secondary prevention (tuberculosis).

Table of contents
1 Diagnosis
2 Treatment
3 Diseases managed by the pulmologist
4 Scientific research


In medicine, 50% of all diagnoses can be made by a thorough medical history, and lung diseases are no different. The pulmonologist will conduct a general review and focus on: Physical diagnostics are as important as in the other fields of medicine, with careful auscultation (with a stethoscope) of all the lung fields, measurement of the lung borders, inspection for signs of cyanosis (e.g. clubbing of the fingernails in chronic cyanosis). As many heart diseases can give pulmonary signs, a thorough cardiac investigation is usually included.

Other tools might include:


Surgical treatment in generally performed by the (cardio)thoracic surgeon, generally after primary evaluation by a pulmonologist.

Medication is the most important treatment of most diseases of pulmonology, either by inhalation (bronchodilatators and steroids) or in oral form (antibiotics, leukotriene antagonists).

Oxygen theraphy is often necessary in severe respiratory disease (emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis). When this is insufficient, the patient might require mechanical ventilation.

Diseases managed by the pulmologist

Scientific research

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 diseases;s - Nephrology - Oncology - Pulmonology - Rheumatology
Branches of Surgery
General surgery; - Cardiothoracic surgery; - Neurosurgery - Ophthalmology - Orthopedic surgery; - Otolaryngology (ENT) - Plastic surgery; - Urology - Vascular surgery;