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Minerva Anestesiol. 2000 Jan-Feb;66(1-2):11-6.

[Protocol for preoperative chest X-rays in elective surgery].

[Article in Italian]

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Azienda Ospedaliera Ospedale Civile di Vimercate, Desio.



To evaluate the effects of a protocol designed to optimize the use of preoperative chest X-rays (CXRs) in the evaluation of patients undergoing anesthesia for elective surgery.


Observational prospective study.


General 350 bedded hospital, with main surgical branches.




routine CXRs can be avoided in patients aged less than 60 years, nonsmokers, without acute-chronic respiratory, cardiovascular symptoms, free from neoplastic diseases, not candidates to major vascular, abdominal or thoracic surgery, not treated with immunosuppressive therapy, nor immigrants from areas of endemic TB. b) All out patient subjects admitted to anesthesiology service for evaluation prior to elective surgery.


Out of 5198 patients, 3795 were enrolled in the protocol; in 152 cases, preoperative CXRs were performed, 3456 patients (57.2% ASA 1; 42% ASA 2; 0.8% ASA 3) underwent surgery without CXRs. Thirty-four percent of patients had general anesthesia, 54.5% regional anesthesia, 20.6% regional-peripheral anesthesia with/without MAC. No critical events nor major complications were observed in the perioperative period in these subjects. Preoperative CXRs (performed in 152 cases) yelded useful informations with effect on the clinical management in 20 instances.


In a context of adequate preoperative anesthesiologic evaluation, this protocol proved to be effective in reducing the number of routine preoperative CXRs in patients undergoing elective surgery. This resulted in a substantial reduction of radiation exposure both to the subject and to the general population, and costs saving, without evident negative side-effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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