Title

Is routine chest radiograph necessary after chest tube removal?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1-2014

Identifier

DOI: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2014.01.004

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Obtaining a chest radiograph (CXR) after chest tube (CT) removal to rule out a pneumothorax is a universal practice. However, the yield of this CXR has not been well documented. Additionally, most iatrogenic pneumothoraces resulting from CT removal are atmospheric in origin, asymptomatic, and can be observed. Recently, we have begun to discontinue routine CXR for CT removal. We evaluated our experience with CT removal to clarify the usefulness of routine post CT removal CXR.

METHODS: After IRB approval, a retrospective study was conducted on patients who had a CT placed in the past decade. Cardiac patients requiring a CT were excluded. Patient demographics, diagnosis, treatments, and outcomes were collected. Patients were divided into two groups, those with a CXR after CT removal (Group 1) and those without (Group 2). Percentages were compared with Chi square with Yates correction.

RESULTS: 462 patients were identified (group 1=327, group 2=135). Indications for CT included; empyema (n=176), lung resection (n=146), pneumothorax (n=71), pleural effusion (n=26), spinal fusion (n=20), trauma (n=16), and miscellaneous (n=7). Seven patients (2.1%) in group 1 required reinsertion for pneumothorax (n=4), empyema (n=2), and pleural effusion (n=1) compared to 1 patient (0.7%) in group 2 who required reinsertion for pleural effusion. This difference was not significant (P=0.2).

CONCLUSIONS: In non-cardiac patients with a CT, tube reinsertion is uncommon and tube replacement is secondary to symptoms. Therefore, routine post CT removal CXR is not necessary. CXR in these patients should be obtained based upon clinical indications after CT removal.

Journal Title

Journal of pediatric surgery

Volume

49

Issue

10

First Page

1493

Last Page

1495

MeSH Keywords

Adolescent; Chest Tubes; Child; Device Removal; Female; Humans; Male; Pneumothorax; Radiography, Thoracic; Respiratory Tract Diseases; Retrospective Studies; Thoracostomy

Keywords

Chest x-ray; Chest Tube; Children

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