The aim of the study was to investigate the potential role of chest tomosynthesis (CTS) at a tertiary referral centre by exploring to what extent CTS could substitute chest radiography (CXR) and computed tomography (CT). The study comprised 1433 CXR, 523 CT and 216 CTS examinations performed 5 years after the introduction of CTS. For each examination, it was decided if CTS would have been appropriate instead of CXR (CXR cases), if CTS could have replaced the performed CT (CT cases) or if CT would have been performed had CTS not been available (CTS cases). It was judged that (a) CTS had been appropriate in 15 % of the CXR examinations, (b) CTS could have replaced additionally 7 % of the CT examinations and (c) CT would have been carried out in 63 % of the performed CTS examinations, had CTS not been available. In conclusion, the potential role for CTS to substitute other modalities during office hours at a tertiary referral centre may be in the order of 20 and 25 % of performed CXR and chest CT, respectively.