Utility of Chest Radiographs in Children Presenting to a Pediatric Emergency Department with Acute Asthma Exacerbation and Chest Pain

Chelsea R. Majerus, Trevor L. Tredway, Nicole K. Yun, James M. Gerard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives Previous studies have not evaluated the utility of obtaining chest radiographs (CXR) in patients with acute asthma exacerbation reporting chest pain. The aims of this study were to evaluate the symptom of chest pain as a predictor for clinicians obtaining a CXR in these patients and to evaluate chest pain as a predictor of a positive CXR finding. Methods This was a retrospective chart review of patients, ages 2 to 18 years, presenting for acute asthma exacerbation to the emergency department from August 1, 2014, to March 31, 2016. Data collected included demographics, clinical data, provider type, and CXR results. Chest radiographs were classified as positive if they showed evidence of pneumonia, pneumothorax, or pneumomediastinum. Multivariate logistic regression models were developed with dependent variables of "obtaining a CXR"and "a positive CXR finding."Results Seven hundred ninety-three subjects were included in the study. Two hundred thirty-one (29.1%) reported chest pain. Chest radiographs were obtained in 184 patients (23.2%). Of those, 74 patients (40.2%) had chest pain and 21 (11.4%) had a positive CXR. Providers were more likely to obtain CXRs in patients who reported chest pain (odds ratio = 2.2 [95% confidence interval = 1.5-3.2]). Patients reporting chest pain were more likely to have a positive CXR although this difference was not statistically significant (odds ratio = 2.0 [95% confidence interval = 0.7-5.6]). Conclusions Providers are more likely to obtain CXRs in asthmatic patients complaining of chest pain; however, these CXRs infrequently yield positive findings. This further supports limiting the use of chest radiography in patients with acute asthma exacerbation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E372-E375
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Volume37
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • asthma
  • chest pain
  • chest x-ray
  • CXR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine

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