February 19, 2016

Paper published in Radiology demonstrates the value of the use of CT imaging in the emergency department.

By Kris Nunez

Dr. Pari Pandharipande and colleagues, in their study published today in Radiology, present data confirming the value of CT imaging in the emergency department. In 1280 patients presenting to the emergency department with abdominal pain, chest pain or dyspnea, or headache, physicians were asked to document their leading diagnosis and their confidence in that diagnosis before and after obtaining the results of a CT scan. The leading diagnosis changed in 51% of patients with abdominal pain, 42% of patients with chest pain or dyspnea, and 24% of patients with headache. Diagnostic confidence increased in a statistically significant manner, with a median increase in confidence of 25%, 20%, and 13%, respectively, for the three clinical indications. Admission decisions changed in 19-25% of patients, depending on the indication. In short, physicians’ diagnoses and admission decisions changed frequently after CT, demonstrating the importance of the information obtained by CT in getting the right diagnosis and the right treatment for patients presenting to the emergency department.  Read more at http://pubs.rsna.org/doi/pdf/10.1148/radiol.2015150473

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