CT: The first-line imaging choice of physicians for the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism

Dec 22, 2009

Computed tomography (CT), a highly accurate, readily available medical imaging technique, is the overwhelmingly preferred technique of emergency physicians and radiologists for the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism (PE), according to a study in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

PE, the formation of a blood clot in the lung, is a life-threatening condition that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment. Medical imaging techniques such as CT, lung scintigraphy, and are currently available to physicians to diagnose PE. "The purpose of our study was to assess the diagnostic approach to PE practiced by emergency physicians and advised by radiologists," said Saurabh Jha, MD, lead author of the study.

Questionnaires were sent to emergency physicians and radiologists in Pennsylvania. The questions covered diagnostic strategies for the detection of PE. "Emergency physicians nearly uniformly (96 percent) chose CT as the preferred first-line investigation. They cited accuracy as one of the major determinants of their choice, followed by overall access to CT, availability of 24-hour interpretation, and capability for alternative diagnosis. Ninety percent of radiologists reported that the first-line medical imaging technique for excluding at their hospital was CT," said Jha.

"The results of our study indicate that by a large margin, both emergency physicians and radiologists prefer CT in the diagnosis of PE. In imaging of pregnant patients to whom is of concern, approaches differed," he said.

"CT is the nearly universal first-line imaging choice for the diagnosis of PE. This is not surprising considering its accuracy is well established," said Jha.

Explore further: Key element of CPR missing from guidelines

Provided by American Roentgen Ray Society

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Clearing the way for detecting pulmonary embolism

Dec 01, 2009

When it comes to diagnosing pulmonary embolism—a sudden blockage in the lung artery that could be deadly if not treated—which technique is the most effective? Research published in the December issue of The Journal of ...

Recommended for you

Exploring 3-D printing to make organs for transplants

3 hours ago

Printing whole new organs for transplants sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but the real-life budding technology could one day make actual kidneys, livers, hearts and other organs for patients ...

High frequency of potential entrapment gaps in hospital beds

5 hours ago

A survey of beds within a large teaching hospital in Ireland has shown than many of them did not comply with dimensional standards put in place to minimise the risk of entrapment. The report, published online in the journal ...

Key element of CPR missing from guidelines

Jul 29, 2014

Removing the head tilt/chin lift component of rescue breaths from the latest cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) guidelines could be a mistake, according to Queen's University professor Anthony Ho.

Burnout impacts transplant surgeons (w/ Video)

Jul 28, 2014

Despite saving thousands of lives yearly, nearly half of organ transplant surgeons report a low sense of personal accomplishment and 40% feel emotionally exhausted, according to a new national study on transplant surgeon ...

User comments : 0