Diagnostic accuracy of cardiothoracic ratio on admission chest radiography to detect left or right ventricular systolic dysfunction: a retrospective study.
Chana HS., Martin CA., Cakebread HE., Adjei FD., Gajendragadkar PR.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the diagnostic accuracy of the cardiothoracic ratio on postero-anterior or antero-posterior chest radiographs in predicting left ventricular or right ventricular dysfunction on echocardiography in an inpatient population. DESIGN: Retrospective study. SETTING: Two secondary care hospitals in the United Kingdom. PARTICIPANTS: Four hundred consecutive inpatient echocardiograms were screened for inclusion along with chest radiographs (both postero-anterior and antero-posterior). The cardiothoracic ratio was calculated from chest radiographs along with quantitative and qualitative measures of left ventricular or right ventricular dysfunction on echocardiography. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Sensitivity and specificity of cardiothoracic ratio across a range of values to detect moderate/severe left ventricular and/or right ventricular dysfunction on echocardiography. RESULTS: Overall, 272 records met inclusion criteria. The prevalence of left ventricular/right ventricular dysfunction on echocardiography was 26% in an inpatient population with high clinical suspicion of cardiac disease referred for echocardiography. Over a range of cardiothoracic ratio values on postero-anterior films, a value of >0.55 yielded the best sensitivity (62.5%) and specificity (76.5%) for diagnosing left ventricular/right ventricular impairment (positive likelihood ratio 2.56), with a positive predictive value of 29.5%. Cardiothoracic ratio on antero-posterior film was not predictive of left ventricular/right ventricular impairment on echocardiography. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, in the context of an acute admission, cardiothoracic ratio measured on postero-anterior or antero-posterior films has limited value in detecting moderate left ventricular and/or right ventricular systolic dysfunction. Previously established absolute values may be unreliable by modern standards.