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Semin Respir Crit Care Med ; 43(6): 899-923, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2133781


Radiology plays an important role in the management of the most seriously ill patients in the hospital. Over the years, continued advances in imaging technology have contributed to an improvement in patient care. However, even with such advances, the portable chest radiograph (CXR) remains one of the most commonly requested radiographic examinations. While they provide valuable information, CXRs remain relatively insensitive at revealing abnormalities and are often nonspecific. Chest computed tomography (CT) can display findings that are occult on CXR and is particularly useful at identifying and characterizing pleural effusions, detecting barotrauma including small pneumothoraces, distinguishing pneumonia from atelectasis, and revealing unsuspected or additional abnormalities which could result in increased morbidity and mortality if left untreated. CT pulmonary angiography is the modality of choice in the evaluation of pulmonary emboli which can complicate the hospital course of the ICU patient. This article will provide guidance for interpretation of CXR and thoracic CT images, discuss some of the invasive devices routinely used, and review the radiologic manifestations of common pathologic disease states encountered in ICU patients. In addition, imaging findings and complications of more specific clinical scenarios in which the incidence has increased in the ICU setting, such as patients who are immunocompromised, have interstitial lung disease, or COVID-19, will also be discussed. Communication between the radiologist and intensivist, particularly on complicated cases, is important to help increase diagnostic accuracy and leads to an improvement in the management of the most critically ill patients.

COVID-19 , Pneumothorax , Humans , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Intensive Care Units , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Communication