ACR Appropriateness Criteria (R) Acute Respiratory Illness in Immunocompetent Patients

Division of Radiology, Cleveland Clinic, Weston, FL, USA.
Journal of thoracic imaging (Impact Factor: 1.74). 05/2011; 26(2):W42-4. DOI: 10.1097/RTI.0b013e31820ffe0f
Source: PubMed


Acute respiratory illness is defined as one or more of the following: cough, sputum production, chest pain, or dyspnea (with or without fever). The workup of these patients depends on many factors, including clinical presentation and the suspected etiology. This study reviews the literature on the indications and usefulness of radiologic studies for the evaluation of acute respiratory illness in the immunocompetent patient. The following recommendations are the result of evidence-based consensus by the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria Expert Panel on Thoracic Radiology. Chest radiographs are usually appropriate in (1) patients with positive physical examination or risk factors for pneumonia, (2) for the assessment of complicated pneumonia, or (3) in cases of emerging infections and biological warfare agents such as severe acute respiratory syndrome, H1N1, and anthrax. Computed tomography, although having a more limited role, is usually appropriate (1) in the assessment of complicated pneumonia and (2) in patients with suspected severe acute respiratory syndrome, H1N1, or anthrax and a normal radiograph.

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