Feature | December 09, 2014

Mayo Clinic Study Finds Many Chest X-rays Offer No Benefit for Children

Only 12 percent of 719 exams for chest pain elicited positive results

children, x-rays, Mayo Clinic, unnecessary, RSNA 2014, study
children, x-rays, Mayo Clinic, unnecessary, RSNA 2014, study

December 9, 2014 — Some children are receiving chest X-rays that may be unnecessary and offer no clinical benefit to the patient, according to a Mayo Clinic study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"Chest X-rays can be a valuable exam when ordered for the correct indications," said Ann Packard, M.D., radiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "However, there are several indications where pediatric chest X-rays offer no benefit and likely should not be performed to decrease radiation dose and cost."

Packard and co-author, Kristen B. Thomas, M.D., head of the pediatric division at Mayo Clinic and assistant professor of radiology at Mayo Medical School, reviewed data from 719 pediatric chest X-ray exams ordered between 2008 and 2014 in Mayo Clinic's inpatient, outpatient and emergency room settings. The patients undergoing the exams ranged in age from newborn to 17 years old.

Of the 719 X-ray exams: 377 exams were ordered for chest pain; 98 indicated syncope (fainting) or presyncope; 21 indicated spells (a general feeling of being unwell or under distress); 37 indicated postural orthostatic hypotension (POTS), a condition in which blood pressure drops suddenly when the individual stands up from sitting or lying down; 185 indicated dizziness; and one exam indicated cyclical vomiting. Eighty-two of the 719 exams were excluded due to congenital or other known heart disease, and other causes.

The researchers found that in approximately 88 percent of the remaining 637 patients, the exam did not alter clinical treatment.

None of the patients who underwent X-rays for indications including syncope, spells, POTS, dizziness or cyclical vomiting had any finding that affected treatment. Thirty-nine of the 330 non-excluded X-rays for chest pain were positive for pneumonia, bronchial inflammation, trauma or other conditions.

"Approximately 12 percent of the chest X-rays for chest pain were positive and included respiratory symptoms such as cough, fever or trauma," Packard said. "There were no positive findings in any chest X-ray for syncope, dizziness, spells, cyclical vomiting or POTS for the past five years, even in our tertiary care center with referrals for rare diseases or unusual presentations."

Optimizing radiation exposure and cost effectiveness are important topics in today's healthcare environment, particularly in a pediatric population, Packard noted.

"This study addresses both of these issues, which is important not only for physicians but also for young patients and their parents," she said. "I would like this research to help guide clinicians and deter them from ordering unnecessary exams which offer no clinical benefit to the patient."

For more information: www.rsna.org

Related Content

Samsung to highlight its medical imaging portfolio with its latest radiology innovations in ultrasound, digital radiography and mobile computed tomography
News | Radiology Imaging | December 02, 2020
December 2, 2020 — Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
 Riverain Technologies will showcase its artificial intelligence solutions and enhancements at the now-virtual 2020 Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting (RSNA).
News | Artificial Intelligence | December 02, 2020
December 2, 2020 — Riverain Technologies will showcase its...
 Philips highlighted its expanding enterprise imaging informatics portfolio that is enabling healthcare providers to advance digital health transformation at RSNA 2020.
News | Enterprise Imaging | December 02, 2020
December 2, 2020 — Philips highlighted its expanding...
Glassbeam Clinsights can help imaging departments capture service data to enhance operational efficiencies
News | Artificial Intelligence | December 02, 2020
December 2, 2020 — Hospitals and institutions face a significant challenge each year when it comes to the financial i
Studies show new deep-learning algorithm helps radiologists detect breast cancers in their early stages when used with the Genius 3D Mammography exam
News | Breast Imaging | December 02, 2020
December 2, 2020 — Hologic, Inc., an innovative medical technology company primarily focused on improving women’s hea
Lunit’s algorithm showed the best performance compared to other commercialized AI algorithms, ultimately reducing the workload of radiologists to classify mammography screenings
News | Artificial Intelligence | December 02, 2020
December 2, 2020 — Recent studies have shown that Lunit’s AI solution is as accurate as average radiologists when it
 The study "Will We Solve Crimes with Radiomics? Results of an Experimental Study on Charred Human Bone Samples," was presented at the Virtual Radiological Society of North America's 2020 conference (RSNA20). Radiomics, which extracts data from clinical images, can be reliably used to assess changes in the bone structure due to fire exposure.
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | December 01, 2020
December 1, 2020 — The study "Will We Solve Crimes with Radiomics?
Mary C. Mahoney, M.D.

Mary C. Mahoney, M.D.

News | RSNA | December 01, 2020
December 1, 2020 — At the Virtual RSNA 2020 conference, it was a