Utility of Chest Radiography in Emergency Department Patients Presenting With Syncope

Matthew L. Wong, MD, MPH; David Chiu, MD; Nathan I Shapiro, MD, MPH; Shamai A Grossman, MD, MS


Western J Emerg Med. 2016;17(6):698-701. 

In This Article


There were 575 people in the cohort, of whom 39.65% were male, the mean age was 57.2 (SD 24.6), and 172 (29.9%) did not have a CXR performed at all (Table 1).

Out of the 575 subjects, 403 (70.1%) had a CXR performed, and 116 (20.2%) had an adverse event after their syncope. Of the 403 people who had CXR performed, 18 (4.5%) radiographs had abnormal findings. Among the 116 people who had adverse events, 20 (17.2%) did not have a CXR done, 81 (69.8%) had a normal CXR, and 15 (12.9%) had an abnormal CXR. Among the 459 people who did not have an adverse event, 152 (33.1%) did not have a CXR performed, 304 (66.2%) had a normal CXR, and 3 (0.7%) had an abnormal CXR. In the group of 15 that had an abnormal CXR and had an adverse event, 8 (53.3%) had CHF, 4 (26.7%) had pneumonia, 2 (13.3%) had CHF as well as pneumonia, and 1 (6.7%) had an effusion. See Table 2. Further hypothesis testing using standard frequentist approaches would be difficult to interpret given the low event rate, particularly in the setting of the study's limitations.