The aim of this study is to assess the value of chest radiographs (CXRs) and sputum examinations in detecting pulmonary involvement of tuberculosis (TB) in patients with extra-pulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB).
Materials and Methods:
A retrospective analysis was performed among 248 EPTB patients with culture-proven diagnosis of tuberculosis seen between January 2001 and December 2007 at a tertiary teaching hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Demographics, clinical, laboratory and radiological findings were reviewed and assessed. This study was approved by the hospital ethics and research committee.
One hundred twenty five of 233 EPTB patients (53.6%) had abnormal CXR findings. There was a significant difference in the occurrence of positive sputum culture results between patients with abnormal CXR findings (30/57) and those with normal CXR findings (4/17) (P = 0.04). Of 17 HIV-negative/unknown HIV-status EPTB patients with normal CXR results, 4 patients (23.5%) had positive sputum culture results. Intrathoracic lymphadenopathy (P < 0.001), pleural TB (P < 0. 001) and disseminated TB (P = 0.004) were associated with an increased risk of abnormal CXR findings. Patients with cough (52.9%), weight loss (41.2%) and night sweats (26.5%) are more likely to have positive sputum culture results.
CXR findings are predictive of positive sputum culture results. However, the rate of normal CXR among EPTB patients with positive sputum culture results was relatively high. Therefore, respiratory specimen cultures should be obtained in TB suspects with a normal CXR to identify potentially infectious cases of TB.
Predictors; pulmonary; extra-pulmonary tuberculosis; radiology
We describe chest radiograph (CXR) findings in a population with a high prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis (TB) in order to identify radiological features associated with TB; to compare CXR features between HIV-seronegative and HIV-seropositive patients with TB; and to correlate CXR findings with CD4 T-cell count.
Consecutive adult patients admitted to a national referral hospital with a cough of duration of 2 weeks or longer underwent diagnostic evaluation for TB and other pneumonias, including sputum examination and mycobacterial culture, bronchoscopy and CXR. Two radiologists blindly reviewed CXRs using a standardised interpretation form.
Smear or culture-positive TB was diagnosed in 214 of 403 (53%) patients. Median CD4+ T-cell count was 50 cells mm–3 [interquartile range (IQR) 14–150]. TB patients were less likely than non-TB patients to have a normal CXR (12% vs 20%, p=0.04), and more likely than non-TB patients to have a diffuse pattern of opacities (75% vs 60%, p=0.003), reticulonodular opacities (45% vs 12%, p<0.001), nodules (14% vs 6%, p=0.008) or cavities (18% vs 7%, p=0.001). HIV-seronegative TB patients more often had consolidation (70% vs 42%, p=0.007) and cavities (48% vs 13%, p<0.001) than HIV-seropositive TB patients. TB patients with a CD4+ T-cell count of ≤50 cells mm–3 less often had consolidation (33% vs 54%, p=0.006) and more often had hilar lymphadenopathy (30% vs 16%, p=0.03) compared with patients with CD4 51–200 cells mm–3.
Although different CXR patterns can be seen in TB and non-TB pneumonias there is considerable overlap in features, especially among HIV-seropositive and severely immunosuppressed patients. Providing clinical and immunological information to the radiologist might improve the accuracy of radiographic diagnosis of TB.
We evaluated the effects of previous pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) on the risk of obstructive lung disease. We analyzed population-based, the Second Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001. Participants underwent chest X-rays (CXR) and spirometry, and qualified radiologists interpreted the presence of TB lesion independently. A total of 3,687 underwent acceptable spirometry and CXR. Two hundreds and ninty four subjects had evidence of previous TB on CXR with no subjects having evidence of active disease. Evidence of previous TB on CXR were independently associated with airflow obstruction (adjusted odds ratios [OR] = 2.56 [95% CI 1.84-3.56]) after adjustment for sex, age and smoking history. Previous TB was still a risk factor (adjusted OR = 3.13 [95% CI 1.86-5.29]) with exclusion of ever smokers or subjects with advanced lesion on CXR. Among never-smokers, the proportion of subjects with previous TB on CXR increased as obstructive lung disease became more severe. Previous TB is an independent risk factor for obstructive lung disease, even if the lesion is minimal and TB can be an important cause of obstructive lung disease in never-smokers. Effort on prevention and control of TB is crucial in reduction of obstructive lung disease, especially in countries with more than intermediate burden of TB.
Tuberculosis; Lung Diseases, Obstructive
Dyspnoea, defined as an uncomfortable awareness of breathing, together with thoracic pain are two of the most frequent symptoms of presentation of thoracic diseases in the Emergency Department (ED). Causes of dyspnoea are various and involve not only cardiovascular and respiratory systems. In the emergency setting, thoracic imaging by standard chest X-ray (CXR) plays a crucial role in the diagnostic process, because it is of fast execution and relatively not expensive. Although radiologists are responsible for the final reading of chest radiographs, very often the clinicians, and in particular the emergency physicians, are alone in the emergency room facing this task. In literature many studies have demonstrated how important and essential is an accurate direct interpretation by the clinician without the need of an immediate reading by the radiologist. Moreover, the sensitivity of CXR is much impaired when the study is performed at bedside by portable machines, particularly in the diagnosis of some important causes of acute dyspnoea, such as pulmonary embolism, pneumothorax, and pulmonary edema. In these cases, a high inter-observer variability of bedside CXR reading limits the diagnostic usefulness of the methodology and complicates the differential diagnosis. The aim of this review is to analyze the radiologic signs and the correct use of CXR in the most important conditions that cause cardiac and pulmonary dyspnoea, as acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute pulmonary oedema, acute pulmonary trombo-embolism, pneumothorax and pleural effusion, and to focus indications and limitations of this diagnostic tool.
Dyspnoea; chest X-ray; pulmonary oedema; heart failure; pleural effusion
Background. Tuberculosis (TB) disease diagnosis in Vietnam relies on symptom screening, chest radiography (CXR), and acid fast bacilli (AFB) sputum smear which have a poor sensitivity in HIV patients. We evaluated the performance of clinical algorithms in screening and diagnosing AFB smear-negative TB in HIV patients. Methods. We enrolled 399 HIV-positive patients seeking care at a HIV clinic in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam. Participants' demographics, medical history, common TB symptoms, CXR, and laboratory tests were collected. Results. Of 399 HIV patients, 390 had initial AFB-negative smears and 22/390 patients had positive cultures. Symptom screening missed 54% (12/22) of smear-negative pulmonary TB (PTB) cases. Multivariate analysis found CD4+ cell level and CXR were significant PTB predictors. An algorithm combining four TB symptoms and TST presented a high sensitivity (100%), but poorly specific (24%) diagnostic performance for smear-negative PTB. Conclusion. Up to 54% of PTB cases in the HIV-infected population may be missed in the routine screening and diagnostic procedures used in Vietnam. Symptom screening was a poor overall diagnostic measure in detecting smear-negative TB in HIV patients. Our study results suggest that routine sputum cultures should be implemented to achieve a more accurate diagnosis of TB in HIV patients.
A best evidence topic was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was whether routine chest radiography is indicated following chest drain removal in patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery. A total of 356 papers were found using the reported searches; of which, 6 represented the best evidence to answer the clinical question. The authors, date, journal, study type, population, main outcome measures and results are tabulated. Reported measures were mean duration of drains left in situ, timing of drain removal, pathology detected on chest radiographs (CXRs), interventions following imaging and clinical assessment, complications in patients not undergoing routine CXRs and the cost saving of omitting routine CXRs. One large cohort study reported the detection of pathology in 79% of clinically indicated CXRs in comparison to 40% of routine CXRs (P = 0.005). Ninety-five per cent of the non-routine CXR cohort remained asymptomatic and required no intervention. One large observational study reported the detection of new pneumothoraces in 9.3% of patients, 70.3% of which were barely perceptible. Intervention following CXR was required in 0.25% and only one medium-sized pneumothorax would have been potentially missed without CXR. Another large observational study reported intervention following CXR in 1.9% and the presence of relevant clinical signs and symptoms to be a significant predictor of major intervention (P < 0.01). A smaller observational study reported no pathology detected or intervention following CXR in 98% and the cost saving of omitting a single CXR at £10 000 per annum. Another small observational study reported only 7% of CXRs to be clinically indicated with a false-positive rate of 100%, and a false-negative rate of 7% in CXRs not clinically indicated. The smallest study reported no complications in the non-CXR cohort and only one patient undergoing intervention in the routine CXR cohort. We conclude that there is evidence that routine post drain removal CXR provides no diagnostic or therapeutic advantage over clinically indicated CXR or simple clinical assessment. The best evidence studies reported the detection of pathology on routine CXR ranging from 2 to 40% compared with 79% in clinically indicated CXRs (P = 0.005). Whilst the rate of intervention following routine CXR was as high as 4% in the smallest study, clinical signs and symptoms suggestive of pathology were a significant predictor of major re-intervention (P < 0.01).
Chest drain; Chest radiography
Pneumothorax can be a both progressive and life threatening disorder. In this survey we evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of a recommended method for the interpretation of chest X-Rays (CXRs) compared to the common method in diagnosis of iatrogenic Pneumothorax in an emergency department.
Materials and Methods:
We conducted a study on 100 CXRs (31 with the diagnosis of small size pneumothorax and 69 normal) of patients who have undergone the upper central venous catheterization. CXRs were interpreted by 5 Emergency Specialists (ESs) and 5 general practitioners (GPs) separately using the conventional and recommended method. Recommended method included a 90 degree rotation against the side of chateterization in addition to using a yellow shield as the background color. Presence of pneumothorax on the CXR was confirmed by a radiologist.
64.5% of the CXRs with pneumothorax were correctly diagnosed by GPs and 87.7% by ESs with reutine method and 83.2% and 97.4% by recommended method, respectively (P.value<0.001). 96.8% out of all CXRs were correctly diagnosed by GPs and 99.4% by ESs by conventional method and 97.9% by GP and 99.7% by ES was correctly diagnosed using recommended method(P.value<0.001). None of the underlying variables including sex, age, underlying diseases, the side of intervention did not affect on the diagnostic accuracy in either groups (P.value>0.05).
A significant raise was obtained in the diagnostic accuracy of CXR using the recommended method. This study can be a preliminary study to conduct further investigations in order to enhance the diagnostic accuracy of CXRs.
Central venous catheterization; chest x-ray; diagnostic accuracy; iatrogenic pneumothorax; interpretation
We conducted a tuberculosis (TB) prevalence survey and evaluated the screening methods used in our survey, to assess if screening in TB prevalence surveys could be simplified, and to assess the accuracy of screening algorithms that may be applicable for active case finding.
All participants with a positive screen on either a symptom questionnaire, chest radiography (CXR) and/or sputum smear microscopy submitted sputum for culture. HIV status was obtained from prevalent cases. We estimated the accuracy of modified screening strategies with bacteriologically confirmed TB as the gold standard, and compared these with other survey reports. We also assessed whether sequential rather than parallel application of symptom, CXR and HIV screening would substantially reduce the number of participants requiring CXR and/or sputum culture.
Presence of any abnormality on CXR had 94% (95%CI 88–98) sensitivity (92% in HIV-infected and 100% in HIV-uninfected) and 73% (95%CI 68–77) specificity. Symptom screening combinations had significantly lower sensitivity than CXR except for ‘any TB symptom’ which had 90% (95%CI 84–95) sensitivity (96% in HIV-infected and 82% in HIV-uninfected) and 32% (95%CI 30–34) specificity. Smear microscopy did not yield additional suspects, thus the combined symptom/CXR screen applied in the survey had 100% (95%CI 97–100) sensitivity. Specificity was 65% (95%CI 61–68). Sequential application of first a symptom screen for ‘any symptom’, followed by CXR-evaluation and different suspect criteria depending on HIV status would result in the largest reduction of the need for CXR and sputum culture, approximately 36%, but would underestimate prevalence by 11%.
CXR screening alone had higher accuracy compared to symptom screening alone. Combined CXR and symptom screening had the highest sensitivity and remains important for suspect identification in TB prevalence surveys in settings where bacteriological sputum examination of all participants is not feasible.
The aim of this study was to assess the role of pre-operative chest computed tomography (CT) compared with abdominopelvic CT (AP-CT) and chest radiography (CXR) for detecting pulmonary metastasis in patients with primary colorectal cancer (CRC).
We retrospectively analyzed the data of 619 patients with primary CRC who simultaneously received a preoperative chest CT (chest CT group), AP-CT with hilar extension, and CXR (CXR group).
In the chest CT group, there were 297 (48.0%) normal, 198 (32%) benign, 96 (15.5%) indeterminate, 26 (4.2%) metastasis, and two lung cancers. Eighteen patients (2.9%) in the CXR group who had no pulmonary metastasis were diagnosed with pulmonary metastasis on a chest CT. The sensitivity and accuracy were 83.9% and 99.0% in the chest CT group, respectively, and 29.0% and 91.5% in the CXR group, respectively (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0003).
Chest CT appears to improve the accuracy of pre-operative staging in patients with CRC and is useful for the early detection of pulmonary metastasis as a baseline study for abnormal lung nodules.
Colorectal neoplasm; Metastases; Computed tomography; Chest X-ray
In low-resource settings, limitations in diagnostic accuracy of chest X-rays (CXR) for pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) relate partly to non-expert interpretation. We piloted a TB CXR Image Reference Set (TIRS) to improve non-expert performance in an operational setting in Malawi.
Nineteen doctors and clinical officers read 60 CXR of patients with suspected PTB, at baseline and using TIRS. Two officers also used the CXR Reading and Recording System (CRRS). Correct treatment decisions were assessed against a “gold standard” of mycobacterial culture and expert performance.
TIRS significantly increased overall non-expert sensitivity from 67.6 (SD 14.9) to 75.5 (SD 11.1, P = 0.013), approaching expert values of 84.2 (SD 5.2). Among doctors, correct decisions increased from 60.7 % (SD 7.9) to 67.1 % (SD 8.0, P = 0.054). Clinical officers increased in sensitivity from 68.0 % (SD 15) to 77.4 % (SD 10.7, P = 0.056), but decreased in specificity from 55.0 % (SD 23.9) to 40.8 % (SD 10.4, P = 0.049). Two officers made correct treatment decisions with TIRS in 62.7 %. CRRS training increased this to 67.8 %.
Use of a CXR image reference set increased correct decisions by doctors to treat PTB. This tool may provide a low-cost intervention improving non-expert performance, translating into improved clinical care. Further evaluation is warranted.
• Tuberculosis treatment decisions are influenced by CXR findings, despite improved laboratory diagnostics.
• In low-resource settings, CXR interpretation is performed largely by non-experts.
• We piloted the effect of a simple reference training set of CXRs.
• Use of the reference set increased the number of correct treatment decisions. This effect was more marked for doctors than clinical officers.
• Further evaluation of this simple training tool is warranted.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00330-013-2840-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Radiography; Tuberculosis; Malawi; Sensitivity and Specificity; Teaching
Patients with cavitary pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) on baseline chest radiograph (CXR) who remain culture-positive after 8 weeks of treatment are at high risk of relapse. The role of end-of-treatment (EOT) CXR in predicting relapse is unclear.
To determine whether EOT CXR independently predicts TB relapse.
We conducted a secondary analysis of a randomized trial of intermittent treatment using rifapentine in the continuation phase of TB treatment among 1004 human immunodeficiency virus seronegative adults with culture-proven pulmonary TB.
Relapse occurred in 17.3% of subjects with persistent cavity on EOT CXR, in 7.6% of subjects with a cavity that resolved by EOT, and 2.5% (P = 0.002 for trend) of subjects who never had a cavity. In multivariable analysis, patients with persistent cavity on EOT CXR were significantly more likely to relapse than patients with no cavity on baseline or 2-month CXR (hazard ratio [HR] 4.22, 95%CI 2.00–8.91), and were more likely to relapse than subjects whose early cavity had resolved by EOT CXR (HR 1.92, 95%CI 1.09–3.39).
A persistent cavity after 6 months of TB treatment was independently associated with disease relapse after controlling for other variables. EOT CXR may help predict those likely to relapse.
tuberculosis; relapse; chest radiograph
Postintubation chest X-rays (CXR) are standard practice in emergency department (ED) intubations. In the operating room, it is not usually a standard practice to confirm endotracheal tube placement with a CXR.
We seek to study the utility of postintubation CXR in ED patients.
This was a retrospective case series of 157 adult patients intubated in the ED of an urban academic hospital with an emergency medicine training program. Standardized chart review was performed by two emergency physicians (EP) using a structured data abstraction tool and final radiology attending reads of postintubation CXR to assess placement. Endotracheal tube placement was graded as satisfactory, too high, too low, or malpositioned in the esophagus. Descriptive statistics were used, and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were reported. Hospital Institutional Review Board approval was obtained.
A total of 157 patients were intubated in the ED during the study period: 127 (81%, 95% CI: 74–86) had adequate tube placement by CXR confirmation, 9 (6%, 95% CI: 3–11) endotracheal tubes were judged to be too high, and 20 (13%, 95% CI: 8–19) were judged to be too low with 10 (6.5%, 95% CI: 3–11) of these being right mainstem bronchus intubations. One patient (<1%, 95% CI:<0.0001–4) had a CXR confirming esophageal intubation.
ED intubations were judged to have “satisfactory” placement by CXR in 81% of patients. CXR is able to identify a small subset of patients that likely need immediate intervention based on their CXR. Until further studies refute the utility of postintubation CXR in ED intubations, they should remain a part of routine practice.
Intubation; Chest X-ray; Emergency department
INTRODUCTION: Pulmonary staging in colorectal cancer (CRC) has traditionally been carried out by means of plain chest radiograph (CXR), although computerised tomography (CT) imaging of the chest is increasingly being performed for this purpose. The aim of this study was to assess the value of pre-operative thoracic CT for pulmonary staging in CRC. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Data were collected prospectively on all patients referred into hospital over a 20-month study period for double contrast barium enema evaluation of symptoms suggestive of an underlying CRC. Patients with a CRC went on to have a staging intravenous, contrast-enhanced CT of the chest, abdomen and pelvis prior to an out-patient appointment with a colorectal surgeon. The CXRs of those patients in whom a radiological abnormality was seen on thoracic CT were reviewed blindly by an independent consultant radiologist. RESULTS: A total of 403 barium enemas were performed, of which 38 demonstrated a CRC (9%). In those patients diagnosed with CRC, nine (24%) had an abnormality on thoracic CT. Four patients with positive thoracic CTs had chemotherapy and or radiotherapy with no surgery. One patient underwent colectomy, and 2 patients who had primary lung tumours as opposed to metastases also underwent colectomies. One patient received palliative care only. In addition, one of the patients underwent multiple, non-diagnostic thoracic investigations prior to a diagnosis of sarcoidosis being made and then proceeding to surgery. An independent consultant radiologist reviewed seven out of the nine CXRs of patients with an abnormality on thoracic CT without knowledge of the clinical diagnosis, and reported three of the CXRs to be normal. CONCLUSIONS: Thoracic CT appears to improve the accuracy of pulmonary staging in CRC allowing a more appropriate level of intervention. However, CT is likely to identify more benign radiological abnormalities than CXR alone, and investigations should not occur to the detriment of treating the primary tumour.
To measure reader variability related to the evaluation of screening chest radiographs (CXRs) for findings of primary lung cancer.
Materials and Methods
From the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), 100 cases were randomly selected from baseline CXR examinations for retrospective interpretation by nine NLST radiologists; images with non calcified lung nodules (NCN) or other abnormalities suspicious for lung cancer as determined by the original NLST reader were over-sampled. Agreement on the presence of pulmonary nodules and abnormalities suspicious for cancer and recommendations for follow-up were assessed by the multirater Kappa statistic.
The multi-rater Kappa statistic for inter-reader agreement on the presence of at least one NCN was 0.38. Rates at which readers reported the presence of at least one NCN ranged from 32 to 63% (mean 41%); among 16 subjects with NCN and cancer diagnosis within one year of the CXR examination, a mean of 87% (range 81–94%) of cases were classified as suspicious for cancer across all readers. The multi-rater Kappa for agreement on follow-up recommendations was 0.34; pair wise Kappa values ranged from 0.15 to 0.64 (mean 0.36). For all subjects, readers recommended a follow-up procedure classified as high level (CT, FDG-PET, or biopsy) 42% of the time on average (range 30–67%); this increased to 84% (range 52–100%) when readers reported a NCN and 88% (range 82–94%) for subjects with cancer.
Reader agreement for screening CXR interpretation and follow-up recommendations is fair overall, but high for malignant lesions.
Lung cancer; chest radiograph; reader variability; screening
To determine the utility of routine chest radiographs (CXRs) in clinical decision-making in the intensive care unit (ICU).
A prospective evaluation of CXRs performed in the ICU for a period of 6 months. A questionnaire was completed for each CXR performed, addressing the indication for the radiograph, whether it changed the patient's management, and how it did so.
A 14-bed medical–surgical ICU in a university-affiliated, tertiary care hospital.
A total of 645 CXRs were analyzed in 97 medical patients and 205 CXRs were analyzed in 101 surgical patients.
Of the 645 CXRs performed in the medical patients, 127 (19.7%) led to one or more management changes. In the 66 surgical patients with an ICU stay <48 hours, 15.4% of routine CXRs changed management. In 35 surgical patients with an ICU stay ≥ 48 hours, 26% of the 100 routine films changed management. In both the medical and surgical patients, the majority of changes were related to an adjustment of a medical device.
Routine CXRs have some value in guiding management decisions in the ICU. Daily CXRs may not, however, be necessary for all patients.
chest radiograph; intensive care unit; quality assurance; routine radiography
To determine the impact of elimination of daily routine
chest radiographs (CXRs) in a mixed
medical–surgical intensive care unit (ICU) on utility of
on demand CXRs, length of stay (LOS) in ICU, readmission rate,
and mortality rate.
Design and setting
Prospective, nonrandomized, controlled study in a 28-bed ICU. Analysis included data of all admitted ICU patients during 5 months before and after elimination of daily routine CXRs.
Before elimination, 2457 daily routine CXRs and 1437 on demand CXRs were obtained from 754 patients. After elimination, 1267 CXRs were obtained from 622 patients. The ratio of CXRs/patient day decreased from 1.1 ± 0.3 to 0.6 ± 0.4 (p < 0.05). Elimination did not result in a change in utility and timing of on demand CXRs. The absolute diagnostic and therapeutic value of on demand CXRs increased with elimination of daily routine CXRs: before intervention, 147 unexpected predefined abnormalities were found (10.2% of all on demand CXRs in 15.9% of all patients), of which 57 (3.9%) in 6.4% of all patients led to a change in therapy. After intervention, 156 unexpected predefined abnormalities were found (11.6%; p < 0.05), of which 61 (4.8%) in 9.5% of all patients (p < 0.05) led to a change in therapy. The LOS in ICU, readmission rate and ICU, and hospital mortality rate were not influenced by the change in strategy.
Elimination of daily routine CXRs reduced the number of CXRs in a mixed medical–surgical ICU, while not affecting readmission rate and ICU and hospital mortality rates.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00134-007-0542-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users
Daily routine; On demand; Chest radiograph; ICU; Critical care
To evaluate the diagnostic possibilities of lung ultrasonography (LUS) in detecting pulmonary complications in preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS).
Material and methods.
A prospective study included 120 preterm infants with clinical and radiographic signs of RDS. LUS was performed using both a transthoracic and a transabdominal approach within the first 24 h of life, and, after that, follow-up LUS examinations were performed. In 47 detected pulmonary complications of RDS (hemorrhage, pneumothorax, pneumonia, atelectasis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia), comparisons between LUS and chest X-ray (CXR) were made. Also, 90 subpleural consolidations registered during LUS examinations were analysed. Statistical analysis included MANOVA and discriminant analysis, t-test, confidence interval, and positive predictive value.
In 45 of 47 instances the same diagnosis of complication was detected with LUS as with CXR, indicating a high reliability of the method in premature infants with RDS. The only two false negative findings concerned partial pneumothorax. The positive predictive value of LUS was 100%. A statistically significant difference of LUS findings between the anterior and posterior lung areas was observed in both right and left hemithoraces.
LUS enables the detection of pulmonary complications in preterm infants with RDS and has the potential to reduce the number of CXRs. The specific guidelines for its use should be provided in a more extensive study.
Complications; infant; lung; respiratory distress syndrome; ultrasonography
Inter-rater agreement in the interpretation of chest X-ray (CXR) films is crucial for clinical and epidemiological studies of tuberculosis. We compared the readings of CXR films used for a survey of tuberculosis between raters from two Asian countries.
Of the 11,624 people enrolled in a prevalence survey in Hanoi, Viet Nam, in 2003, we studied 258 individuals whose CXR films did not exclude the possibility of active tuberculosis. Follow-up films obtained from accessible individuals in 2006 were also analyzed. Two Japanese and two Vietnamese raters read the CXR films based on a coding system proposed by Den Boon et al. and another system newly developed in this study. Inter-rater agreement was evaluated by kappa statistics. Marginal homogeneity was evaluated by the generalized estimating equation (GEE).
CXR findings suspected of tuberculosis differed between the four raters. The frequencies of infiltrates and fibrosis/scarring detected on the films significantly differed between the raters from the two countries (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0082, respectively, by GEE). The definition of findings such as primary cavity, used in the coding systems also affected the degree of agreement.
CXR findings were inconsistent between the raters with different backgrounds. High inter-rater agreement is a component necessary for an optimal CXR coding system, particularly in international studies. An analysis of reading results and a thorough discussion to achieve a consensus would be necessary to achieve further consistency and high quality of reading.
Chest radiography (CXR) is frequently performed in Western societies. There is insufficient knowledge of its diagnostic value in terms of changes in patient management decisions in primary care.
To assess the influence of CXR on patient management in general practice.
Design of study
Prospective cohort study.
Seventy-eight GPs and three general hospitals in the Netherlands.
Patients (n = 792) aged ≥18 years referred by their GPs for CXR were included. The main outcome was change in patient management assessed by means of questionnaires filled in by GPs before and after CXR.
Mean age of the patients was 57.3±16.2 years and 53% were male. Clinically relevant abnormalities were found in 24% of the CXRs. Patient management changed in 60% of the patients following CXR. Main changes included: fewer referrals to a medical specialist (from 26 to 12%); reduction in initiation or change in therapy (from 24 to 15%); and more frequent reassurance (from 25 to 46%). However, this reassurance was not perceived as such in a quarter of these patients. A change in patient management occurred significantly more frequently in patients with complaints of cough (67%), those who exhibited abnormalities during physical examination (69%), or those with a suspected diagnosis of pneumonia (68%).
Patient management by the GP changed in 60% of patients following CXR. CXR substantially reduced the number of referrals and initiation or change in therapy, and more patients were reassured by their GP. Thus, CXR is an important diagnostic tool for GPs and seems a cost-effective diagnostic test.
chest radiography; general practice; patient care management
Lung sonography has rapidly emerged as a reliable technique in the evaluation of various thoracic diseases. One important, well-established application is the diagnosis of a pneumothorax. Prompt and accurate diagnosis of a pneumothorax in the management of a critical patient can prevent the progression into a life-threatening situation. Sonographic signs, including ‘lung sliding’, ‘B-lines’ or ‘comet tail artifacts’, ‘A-lines’, and ‘the lung point sign’ can help in the diagnosis of a pneumothorax. Ultrasound has a higher sensitivity than the traditional upright anteroposterior chest radiography (CXR) for the detection of a pneumothorax. Small occult pneumothoraces may be missed on CXR during a busy trauma scenario, and CXR may not always be feasible in critically ill patients. Computed tomography, the gold standard for the detection of pneumothorax, requires patients to be transported out of the clinical area, compromising their hemodynamic stability and delaying the diagnosis. As ultrasound machines have become more portable and easier to use, lung sonography now allows a rapid evaluation of an unstable patient, at the bedside. These advantages combined with the low cost and ease of use, have allowed thoracic sonography to become a useful modality in many clinical settings.
Emergency medicine; pneumothorax; diagnosis; thoracic ultrasonography
Chest x-rays (CXRs) are the most frequent radiological tests performed in the intensive care unit (ICU). However, the utility of performing daily routine CXRs is unclear.
We searched Medline and Embase (1948 to March 2011) for randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and before-after observational studies comparing a strategy of routine CXRs to a more restrictive approach with CXRs performed to investigate clinical changes among critically ill adults or children. In duplicate, we extracted data on the CXR strategy, study quality and clinical outcomes (ICU and hospital mortality; duration of mechanical ventilation and ICU and hospital stay).
Nine studies (39,358 CXRs; 9,611 patients) were included in the meta-analysis. Three trials (N = 870) of moderate to good quality provided information on the safety of a restrictive routine CXR strategy; only one trial systematically assessed for missed findings. Pooled data from trials showed no evidence of effect of a restrictive approach on ICU mortality (risk ratio [RR] 1.04, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.84 to 1.28, P = 0.72; two trials, N = 776), hospital mortality (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.41, P = 0.91; two trials, N = 259), ICU length of stay (weighted mean difference [WMD] -0.86 days, 95% CI -2.38 to 0.66 days, P = 0.27; three trials, N = 870), hospital length of stay (WMD -2.50 days, 95% CI -6.62 to 1.61 days, P = 0.23; two trials, N = 259), or duration of mechanical ventilation (WMD -0.30 days, 95% CI -1.48 to 0.89 days, P = 0.62; three trials, N = 705). Adding data from six observational studies, one of which systematically screened for missed findings, gave similar results.
This meta-analysis did not detect any harm associated with a restrictive chest radiograph strategy. However, confidence intervals were wide and harm was not rigorously assessed. Therefore, the safety of abandoning routine CXRs in patients admitted to the ICU remains uncertain.
Background and objectives
The frequency, aetiologies, and outcomes of normal chest radiographs (CXRs) among HIV-seropositive patients with suspected pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) have been infrequently described.
Consecutive HIV-seropositive adults hospitalized for cough of ≥ 2 weeks duration at Mulago Hospital (Kampala, Uganda), between September 2007 and July 2008, were enrolled. Baseline CXRs were obtained on admission. Patients with sputum smears that were negative for acid-fast bacilli (AFB) were referred for bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). BAL fluid was examined for mycobacteria, Pneumocystis jirovecii, and other fungi. Patients were followed for two months after enrolment.
Of the 334 patients, 54 (16%) had normal CXRs. These patients were younger (median age 30 vs. 34 years, P=0.002), had lower counts of CD4+ T lymphocytes (median 13 vs. 57 cells/μL, P<0.001), and were less likely to be smear positive for AFB (17% vs. 39%, P=0.002) than those with abnormal CXRs. Pulmonary TB was the most frequent diagnosis (44%) among those with normal CXRs, followed by unknown diagnoses, pulmonary aspergillosis, and pulmonary cryptococcosis. The frequency of normal CXRs was 12% among pulmonary TB patients. There was a trend towards increased two-month mortality among patients with normal CXRs compared to those with abnormal CXRs (40% vs. 29%, P=0.15).
Normal CXR findings were common among HIV-seropositive patients with suspected TB, especially those who were young, those with low CD4+ T cell counts, and those with sputum smears that were negative for AFB. Mortality was high among those with normal CXRs. Normal CXR findings should not preclude further diagnostic evaluation in this population.
clinical epidemiology; critical care medicine; immunodeficiency; radiology and other imaging; tuberculosis
Case-control studies of mass screening for lung cancer (LC) by chest x-rays (CXR) performed in the 1990s in scarcely defined Japanese target populations indicated significant mortality reductions, but these results are yet to be confirmed in western countries. To ascertain whether CXR screening decreases LC mortality at community level, we studied a clearly defined population-based cohort of smokers invited to screening. We present here the LC detection results and the 10-year survival rates.
The cohort of all smokers of > 10 pack-years resident in 50 communities of Varese, screening-eligible (n = 5,815), in July 1997 was invited to nonrandomized CXR screening. Self-selected participants (21% of cohort) underwent screening in addition to usual care; nonparticipants received usual care. The cohort was followed-up until December 2010. Kaplan-Meier LC-specific survival was estimated in participants, in nonparticipants, in the whole cohort, and in an uninvited, unscreened population (control group).
Over the initial 9.5 years of study, 67 LCs were diagnosed in screening participants (51% were screen-detected) and 178 in nonparticipants. The rates of stage I LC, resectability and 5-year survival were nearly twice as high in participants (32% stage I; 48% resected; 30.5% 5-year survival) as in nonparticipants (17% stage I; 27% resected; 13.5% 5-year survival). There were no bronchioloalveolar carcinomas among screen-detected cancers, and median volume doubling time of incidence screen-detected LCs was 80 days (range, 44-318), suggesting that screening overdiagnosis was minimal. The 10-year LC-specific survival was greater in screening participants than in nonparticipants (log-rank, p = 0.005), and greater in the whole cohort invited to screening than in the control group (log-rank, p = 0.001). This favourable long-term effect was independently related to CXR screening exposure.
In the setting of CXR screening offered to a population-based cohort of smokers, screening participants who were diagnosed with LC had more frequently early-stage resectable disease and significantly enhanced long-term LC survival. These results translated into enhanced 10-year LC survival, independently related to CXR screening exposure, in the entire population-based cohort. Whether increased long-term LC-specific survival in the cohort corresponds to mortality reduction remains to be evaluated.
Trial registration number
Lung cancer; Chest x-ray screening; Population-based; Cohort study; volunteer effect; Survival; Community
AIM: To compare the reported injuries on initial assessment of the chest X-ray (CXR) in thoracic trauma patients to a second read performed by a dedicated trauma radiologist.
METHODS: By retrospective analysis of a prospective database, 712 patients with an injury to the chest admitted to the University Medical Center Utrecht were studied. All patients with a CXR were included in the study. Every CXR was re-evaluated by a trauma radiologist, who was blinded for the initial results. The findings of the trauma radiologist regarding rib fractures, pneumothoraces, hemothoraces and lung contusions were compared with the initial reports from the trauma team, derived from the original patient files.
RESULTS: A total of 516 patients with both thorax trauma and an initial CXR were included in the study. After re-evaluation of the initial CXR significantly more lung contusions (53.3% vs 34.1%, P < 0.001), hemothoraces (17.8% vs 11.0%, P < 0.001) and pneumothoraces (34.4% vs 26.4%, P < 0.001) were detected. During initial assessment significantly more rib fractures were reported (69.8% vs 62.3%, P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: During the initial assessment of a CXR from trauma patients in the emergency department, a significant number of treatment-dictating injuries are missed. More awareness for these specific injuries is needed.
Thoracic radiography; Rib fractures; Hemothorax; Pneumothorax; Pulmonary contusion
Metastatic lung disease in Wilms tumor (WT) patients was traditionally identified by chest radiograph (CXR). It is unclear whether patients with small lesions, detectable only by computed tomography (“CT-only” lesions), require the more intensive therapy, including doxorubicin and lung irradiation, given to patients with metastases detectable by CXR.
This study involved 417 patients with favorable histology WT and isolated lung metastases (detected by CXR or CT) who were registered on National Wilms Tumor Study (NWTS)-4 or -5. Outcomes by method of detection (CXR vs. CT only), use of lung radiation, and 2- or 3-drug chemotherapy (dactinomycin and vincristine +/− doxorubicin) were determined and compared using the log-rank test.
There were 231 patients with lung lesions detected by CXR and 186 by CT only. Of the patients with CT-only nodules, 37 received only 2 drugs and 101 did not receive lung radiation. Five-year event-free survival (EFS) was greater for patients receiving 3 drugs (including doxorubicin) with or without lung radiation than for those receiving 2 drugs (80% vs. 56%; p=0.004). There was no difference seen in 5-year overall survival (OS) between the 3-drug and 2-drug subsets (87% vs 86%; p=0.91). There were no significant differences in EFS (82% vs. 72%; p=0.13) or OS (91% vs. 83%; p = 0.46) for patients with CT-only nodules whether they received lung radiation or not.
Our results suggest that patients with CT-only lung lesions may have improved EFS but not OS from the addition of doxorubicin but do not appear to benefit from pulmonary radiation.
Wilms tumor; CT scans; pulmonary metastases; doxorubicin; lung radiation