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<< Emergency Department Evaluation And Management Of Blunt Chest And Lung Trauma (Trauma CME)

Diagnostic Studies

Chest X-Ray

Chest x-ray (CXR) is used in most chest trauma patients because it is fast, inexpensive, and can be diagnostic of life-threatening injuries such as pneumothorax, hemothorax, pulmonary contusion, aortic injuries, and rib fractures. The ACR recommends CXR as "usually appropriate" (the highest recommendation) and complementary to CT in patients with high-energy mechanisms of injury.61 There is also a recommendation that CT or CT angiography (CTA) “may be appropriate“ in patients with a normal CXR and low probability of significant thoracic injury. 

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