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The CXR is the most commonly performed radiographic examination worldwide. Its ease of performance, apparent ease of interpretation and low radiation dose, alongside its great spatial resolution would suggest that it should be the first investigation performed in all patients presenting with thoracic disease. But, the advent of ever-improving multislice CT and increasing scanner availability has resulted in some patients being referred directly for scanning, bypassing the CXR. This has resulted in an inexorable rise in the number of scans performed, with an increase in patient radiation exposure and concerns among legislators and physicians that the number of scans needs to be regulated. A key role in the reduction of unnecessary scanning in patients with thoracic disease is the understanding of the place of the CXR, its ability to help in disease detection and monitoring, and its limitations.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1152 - 1156


Humans, Radiation Dosage, Thoracic Diseases, Tomography, X-Ray Computed