PURPOSE:Chest radiographs (CR) are routinely obtained in the emergency department (ED) for the evaluation of dyspnea. While CR is a very useful examination to identify certain conditions such as pneumonia, it cannot detect some other dyspnea causing diseases such as asthma or COPD. A non-invasive imaging modality able to detect lung diseases missed by CR may prove clinically beneficial.
METHODS:Respiratory sounds throughout the respiratory cycle were captured using an acoustic-based imaging technique. Consecutive patients who presented to the ED with acute dyspnea were enrolled and separated into two groups: those with normal chest radiographic exams on admission as per official radiology report and those with abnormal chest radiographic exams. Images were obtained at the time of presentation and dynamic and static images were evaluated by two blinded experts using an evaluation form. Healthy volunteers were also enrolled as controls.
RESULTS:In healthy controls with normal CR (20), dyspneic patients with normal CRs (44), and dyspneic patients with abnormal CRs (31), the final assessment of the vibration images were abnormal in 15%, 86% and 90% of these groups, respectively. (Figure 1).
CONCLUSION:Respiratory images were able to detect abnormality in dyspneic patients even though their CRs were normal. This non-invasive imaging technique may prove to be clinically useful in a patient presenting with acute dyspnea.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS:This lung imaging modality may have some utility in acute dyspneic patients with normal CRs.
DISCLOSURE:Zhen Wang, None.