A 67-year-old male retired construction worker presents for evaluation of ongoing cough.

A 67-year-old male retired construction worker presents for evaluation of ongoing cough. He has had the cough for a “long time,” but has been bothersome for the past 6 months. He finally has come in for evaluation because he is having difficulty catching his breath after simple tasks such as walking up a few steps. On pulmonary examination, inspiratory bibasilar crackles are auscultated. Imaging studies note several opacities of various shapes and sizes, calcified pleural plaques at both lung bases, and honeycombing. Which of the following diagnostic modalities is most sensitive for confirming the suspected diagnosis?

(A)          Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)

(B)          Computed tomography (CT)

(C)          Chest x-ray (CXR)

(D)          Pulmonary function testing (PFT)

(E)          Thoracic ultrasound (US)

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