In a patient with acute respiratory illness (cough, sputum production, chest pain, and/or dyspnea), the need for chest imaging depends on the severity of illness, age of the patient, clinical history, physical and laboratory findings, and other risk factors. Chest radiographs seem warranted when one or more of the following are present: age ≥ 40; dementia; a positive physical examination; hemoptysis; associated abnormalities (leukocytosis, hypoxemia); or other risk factors, including coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, or drug-induced acute respiratory failure. Chest CT may be warranted in complicated cases of severe pneumonia and in febrile neutropenic patients with normal or nonspecific chest radiographic findings. Literature on the indications and usefulness of radiologic studies for acute respiratory illness in different clinical settings is reviewed.
- Appropriateness criteria
- diagnostic imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging