Lung scintigraphy more reliable than CTA in excluding pulmonary embolism in pregnant patients

Oct 20, 2009

A medical imaging procedure known as lung scintigraphy may be more reliable than pulmonary CT angiography (CTA) for identifying or excluding pulmonary embolism (PE) in pregnant patients, according to a study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

PE, a blood clot lodged in an artery supplying the lungs, is the leading cause of maternal death in pregnancy. CTA is the imaging modality of choice for the diagnosis of PE, however lung scintigraphy, a form of radionuclide imaging that produces two-dimensional images, has shown to produce better diagnostic quality images more often than CTA in pregnant patients.

"Our study analyzed 28 CTA studies and 25 lung scintigraphy studies performed on a group of 50 patients," said Carole A. Ridge, M.D., lead author of the study. "The results showed that lung scintigraphy is more reliable than CTA for the diagnosis of PE. Only one out of 25 lung scintigraphic studies was inadequate for diagnosis; compared to ten out of 28 CTA examinations that were found to be inadequate for diagnosis," she said. Examinations were considered inadequate when poor image quality prohibited a diagnosis.

"During CTA in pregnant patients, it is hard to achieve optimal image quality because of the hemodynamic effects (changes in blood flow and circulation) of pregnancy," said Dr. Ridge.

"Our findings confirm what recent reports in the literature have suggested — CTA is less reliable for the diagnosis of PE in pregnant patients. scintigraphy is more reliable than CTA for the diagnosis or exclusion of PE in pregnant patients, and should be considered the imaging technique of choice unless the CTA image technique can be optimized for the pregnant patient," she said.

Source: American Roentgen Ray Society

Explore further: Body Mass Index associated with breast cancer, regardless of body shape

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Video game group files lawsuit over CTA ad rule

Jul 22, 2009

(AP) -- A trade group that represents software and video game publishers sued the Chicago Transit Authority on Wednesday, saying a rule barring ads on trains and buses for "mature" and "adults only" games violates the right ...

Recommended for you

Survival hope for melanoma patients thanks to new vaccine

4 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—University of Adelaide researchers have discovered that a new trial vaccine offers the most promising treatment to date for melanoma that has spread, with increased patient survival rates and improved ability ...

New clinical trial launched for advance lung cancer

8 hours ago

Cancer Research UK is partnering with pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Pfizer to create a pioneering clinical trial for patients with advanced lung cancer – marking a new era of research into personalised medicines ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Bionic ankle 'emulates nature'

These days, Hugh Herr, an associate professor of media arts and sciences at MIT, gets about 100 emails daily from people across the world interested in his bionic limbs.

Cosmologists weigh cosmic filaments and voids

(Phys.org) —Cosmologists have established that much of the stuff of the universe is made of dark matter, a mysterious, invisible substance that can't be directly detected but which exerts a gravitational ...