Portable Chest Radiography Immediately after Post-Cardiac Surgery; an Essential Tool for the Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Atelectasis: a Case Report

Document Type : Case Report


1 Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran

2 Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran.


Atelectasis after endobronchial intubation (ETT) is a known complication of general anesthesia. In-bed auscultation of lungs and use of the 21/23 rule are the two suggestive, but not reliable, methods for the early detection of this event; however, none of them guarantees its prevention. The portable chest radiograph (CXR) is a simple, quick method to detect atelectasis and proper placement of the endotracheal tube in the intensive care unit (ICU).
A case of postsurgical, ICU-admitted patient was presented in the report, demonstrating left (LT) lung atelectasis in immediate portable CXR without any evidence of respiratory or hemodynamic abnormality. Portable CXR showed that the tip of the endotracheal tube was located in the lumen of the right main bronchus, leading to LT lung total atelectasis. After repositioning of ETT to the lumen of the trachea, atelectasis was disappeared in early follow-up CXR.