At Mayo Clinic, researchers found that some children are receiving chest X-rays that may be unnecessary and offer no clinical benefit to the patient.
This is according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
"Chest X-rays can be a valuable exam when ordered for the correct indications," said Ann Packard, M.D., radiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "However, there are several indications where pediatric chest X-rays offer no benefit and likely should not be performed to decrease radiation dose and cost."
Dr. Packard and co-author, Kristen B. Thomas, M.D., head of the pediatric division at Mayo Clinic and assistant professor of radiology at Mayo Medical School, reviewed data from 719 pediatric chest X-ray exams ordered between 2008 and 2014 in Mayo Clinic's inpatient, outpatient and emergency room settings. The patients undergoing the exams ranged in age from newborn to 17 years old.
Of the 719 X-ray exams, 377 exams were ordered for chest pain, 98 indicated syncope (fainting) or presyncope, 21 indicated spells (a general feeling of being unwell or under distress), 37 indicated postural orthostatic hypotension (POTS)--a condition in which blood pressure drops suddenly when the individual stands up from sitting or lying down, 185 indicated dizziness, and one exam indicated cyclical vomiting. Eighty-two of the 719 exams were excluded due to congenital or other known heart disease, and other causes.