What is the role of chest radiography in the workup of bacterial sepsis?

Updated: Feb 05, 2019
  • Author: Amber Mahmood Bokhari, MBBS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

No radiologic signs are specific to the identification of sepsis, but chest radiography can aid in identifying a specific infection site. Chest radiography is important to rule out pneumonia and diagnose other causes of pulmonary infiltrates, such as the following:

  • Pulmonary drug reactions
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Pulmonary hemorrhage
  • Primary or metastatic pulmonary neoplasms
  • Lymphangitic spread of malignancies
  • Large pleural effusions
  • Pneumothorax
  • Hydrothorax
  • Fluid overload
  • Congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • Acute myocardial infarction (MI)
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome

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