When is chest radiography indicated in patients who present with symptoms of asthma?

Updated: Jan 07, 2019
  • Author: Michael J Morris, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

Because pneumonia is one of the most common complications of asthma, chest radiography is indicated in patients with fever to rule out pneumonia. With new-onset asthma and eosinophilia, a radiograph may be useful in identifying prominent streaky infiltrates persisting less than 1 month, indicating Loeffler pneumonia. The infiltrates of Loeffler pneumonia are peripheral with central sparing of the lung fields. These findings have been described as the radiographic negative of pulmonary edema.

Patients with pleuritic chest pain or those with an acute asthmatic episode that responds poorly to therapy, require a chest film to exclude pneumothorax or pneumomediastinum, particularly if subcutaneous emphysema is present.


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