Medical Devices of the Chest

Medical Devices of the Chest

Tim B. Hunter, MD ; Mihra S. Taljanovic, MD ; Pei H. Tsau, MD ; William G. Berger, MD ; James R. Standen, MD

Chest devices are encountered on a daily basis by almost all radiologists. A multitude of extrathoracic materials, from intravenous catheters to oxygen tubing and electrocardiographic leads, frequently overlie the chest, neck, and abdomen. Chest tubes, central venous catheters, endotracheal tubes, and feeding tubes are very common. Cardiac surgery involves the use of many sophisticated devices and procedures, ranging from valve replacement to repair of complex congenital anomalies. Coronary artery bypass surgery is no longer considered unusual, and in many large medical centers, ventricular assist devices and total artificial hearts are frequently encountered. Breast implants are visible at standard chest radiography, and many ancillary devices not intended for treatment of cardiac or thoracic diseases are visible on chest radiographs. New devices are constantly being introduced, but most of them are variations on a previous theme. Knowing the specific name of a device is not important. It is important to recognize the presence of a device and to have an understanding of its function, as well as to recognize the complications associated with its use.

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