Trends in Use of Daily Chest Radiographs among US Adults Receiving Mechanical Ventilation

Hayley B. Gershengorn, Hannah Wunsch, Damon C. Scales, Gordon D. Rubenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Importance: Guidelines from December 2011 recommended against obtaining daily chest radiographs (CXRs) for patients requiring mechanical ventilation (MV). Daily CXR use for patients receiving MV in US hospitals is unknown and, if high, may represent an opportunity to reduce low-value care and unnecessary radiation. Objectives: To determine frequency of daily CXR use for US patients receiving MV, assess variability across hospitals, and evaluate whether use has decreased over time. Design, Setting, and Participants: Retrospective cohort study of hospitalized adults (aged ≥18 years) receiving MV for 3 days or longer. Mechanical ventilation was defined by having an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification code of 96.7x and an MV charge on more than 1 hospital day. Hospital discharges in the Premier Perspectives database were examined from July 1, 2008, to December 31, 2014. Data analysis was conducted from July 28, 2017, to December 13, 2017. Exposures: Hospital discharge date (quarter of the year) and hospital in which patients received MV. Main Outcomes and Measures: The outcome was daily CXR use (up to 7 days) during MV. We used standard statistics to describe CXR use, multilevel multivariable regression modeling with adjusted median odds ratio (OR) to evaluate variability by hospital, and multivariable piecewise regression (breakpoint: fourth quarter of 2011) with adjusted OR to evaluate time trends and response to guideline recommendations. Results: The primary cohort included 512518 patients receiving MV (mean [SD] age, 63.0 [16.1] years; 46% female) in 416 hospitals, of whom 321093 (63%) received daily CXRs. Wide variability was seen across hospitals; hospitals performed daily CXRs on a median of 66% of patients (interquartile range, 50%-77%; full range, 12%-97%). The adjusted median OR was 2.43 (95% CI, 2.29-2.59), suggesting the same patient had 2.43-fold higher odds of receiving a daily CXR if admitted to a higher- vs lower-use hospital; the odds of receiving daily CXRs were unchanged through quarter 3 of 2011 (adjusted OR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.99-1.01), after which there was a 3% relative reduction in the odds of daily CXR use per quarter (adjusted OR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.96-0.98). Conclusions and Relevance: Three-fifths of US patients receiving MV also received daily CXRs from 2008 to 2014, although use declined slowly after new guidelines were published. The hospital at which a patient received care was associated with the odds of daily CXR receipt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere181119
JournalJAMA Network Open
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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