Accuracy and efficacy of the chest radiograph

The accuracy and efficacy of the bedside radiograph in assessing cardiopulmonary abnormalities and monitoring life-support apparatus continue to be debated. Routine radiographs in patients with pulmonary disease or hemodynamically unstable cardiac disease have revealed that 57 per cent of these patients had unsuspected abnormalities in contrast with only 3 per cent of hemodynamically stable cardiac patients or those with miscellaneous conditions in the medical ICU

(Strain eL§L 1985). The efficacy of routine radiography has also been studied in the surgical ICU. One study found that only 1.3 per cent of life-support devices were significantly malpositioned, and the rate of cardiopulmonary findings requiring immediate action was less than 1 per cent ( Sl!versl§!0.eL§,( 1993).

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