Chest imaging in acute respiratory failure

Chairs: Davide Chiumello and Paolo Navalesi

Patients with acute respiratory failure usually require chest imaging technique for diagnosis of the disease, assessment of the progression and for evaluation of the efficacy of the treatment.

Until few decades ago, chest imaging of critically ill patients consisted in the sole chest x-ray. However in the last two decades, several techniques became available: CT scans, Chest ultrasound, electrical impedance tomography (EIT) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET). In spite of this increased availability, no suggestions are available for pulmonologists and critical care physicians regarding the indications and limitations of these different techniques. The purpose of the this task force is therefore to describe a state of art on chest imaging based on the available literature, identified by a systematic search and revision, for the different available imaging techniques in patients with acute respiratory failure.