Inappropriate use of computed tomography chest scanning in hospital patients

Askin Gunes, Lloyd J Ridley and Graham Simpson
Med J Aust 2008; 189 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2008.tb02033.x
Published online: 1 September 2008

To the Editor: Computed tomography (CT) of the chest is superior to chest x-ray as an imaging modality of the lungs, mediastinum, pleura and the chest wall,1 and its use is increasing for a range of diagnostic and therapeutic applications.2 There are clear indications for the appropriate use of chest CT, and adherence to these can reduce cost, workload, procedure-related complications and radiation exposure. Our group recently analysed referrals for chest CT from general practice, and found that the scan was clinically helpful in only 12%, and inappropriate in 68%.3 We thus examined the indications for ordering CT of the chest, and the associated outcomes in hospital inpatients, who had been referred for chest CT by general physicians.

  • Askin Gunes1
  • Lloyd J Ridley2
  • Graham Simpson3

  • 1 Department of Medicine, Sunshine Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Concord Hospital, Sydney, NSW.
  • 3 Thoracic Medicine and Regional TB Control Unit, Cairns Base Hospital, Cairns, QLD.



We thank the staff of Cairns Base Hospital Radiology Department and Rabia Khan, Tropical Public Health Unit Network, Queensland Health, for her guidance with the statistical analysis.


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