Value of the chest X-ray as a screening test for elective surgery in children

R. A. Wood, R. A. Hoekelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


A retrospective study was conducted to assess the value of the chest x-ray as a preoperative screening procedure in pediatric patients. Admissions for elective surgery were compared at two hospitals, one that required routine preoperative chest x-rays and one that did not. Our purpose was to determine the yield of the screening chest x-ray in detecting unknown abnormalities and to determine whether patients who had a preoperative chest x-ray taken experienced fewer anesthetic or postoperative complications than did those who did not. In all, 1,924 cases were studied; in 749 a preoperative chest film was taken. Of those 749 cases, a previously unsuspected abnormality was discovered in 35 (4.7%) patients. Nine (1.2%) of these abnormalities were considered to be clinically significant and three (0.4%) resulted in cancellation of surgery. No differences in anesthetic or postoperative complications were noted between the two groups of patients. It is recommended that the performance of routine preoperative chest x-rays on apparently healthy children be discontinued.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-452
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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