Background: Chest Radiograph accompanied by clinical and laboratory findings
are required for diagnosis and follow-up of patients with suspected ventilatorassociated
pneumonia (VAP). However, there are no reliable data whether follow-up
chest-X-ray (CXR) is needed or not, moreover, when the physicians request CXR and
how many times CXR is required. We aimed to determine association of the clinical improvement
with resolution of pulmonary infiltrates as well as time of resolution.
Materials and Methods: The patients with a diagnosis of VAP based on Clinical Pulmonary
Infection Score (CPIS) were enrolled in this study. Clinical evaluation and follow-up
were continued and CXR was performed sequentially in two-day intervals until clinical
improvement or occurrence of other events including death. Fischer test was used to analyze
the association of clinical improvement with radiographic resolution.
Results: Out of the seventy -five patients, pneumonia was clinically improved in 48 cases.
Mean duration of the clinical improvement was 5.3±4.5 days. Among these patients, pulmonary
infiltrations in 44 patients were resolved completely (13.8±5.8 days). Twentyseven
patients had no clinical improvement and all of them revealed no infiltration resolution
according to the sequential imaging studies. Resolution of radiographic involvement
significantly was associated with clinical improvement (p=0.000).
Conclusion: Radiographic resolution occurs in most of patients who survived VAP and
there is strong relationship between radiographic resolution and clinical improvement.
Moreover, our data revealed that CXR clearance occurred earlier than anticipated previously.
Thus, sequential follow-up CXR in VAP had no further clinical value.