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Clin Radiol. 1996 Jul;51(7):499-502.

Is admission chest radiography of any clinical value in acute stroke patients?

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Department of Radiology, City Hospital NHS Trust, Birmingham, UK.


Chest radiographs are frequently requested on admission of patients with a clinical diagnosis of acute stroke. This study assesses their value in subsequent management of these patients. A retrospective analysis of 435 patients with a clinical diagnosis of acute stroke was made. All admission chest radiographs were reviewed to document both radiographic quality and any radiological abnormality. In those patients with an abnormal radiograph, clinical records were reviewed to assess their impact on clinical management. Eighty-six percent of patients had a chest radiograph performed on admission. 77.5% of these films were deemed to be technically unsatisfactory, the commonest problems being positioning and suboptimal inspiration. Radiological abnormality was demonstrated in 61 patients (16.4% of radiographs obtained). Clinical management was altered in 14 of the 61 patients (3.8% of the total number of patients radiographed). Radiological abnormality was missed by the admitting clinicians in four radiographs (1 hilar mass, 2 cases of consolidation, one of pulmonary oedema). One abnormality not clinically suspected was recorded (multiple metastases). We conclude that admission chest radiographs in patients with an acute stroke are not indicated in the absence of appropriate clinical indications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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