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Inappropriate use of computed tomography chest scanning in hospital patients

Askin Gunes, Lloyd J Ridley and Graham Simpson
Med J Aust 2008; 189 (5): 292.
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.

Correspondence: askin.gunes@wh.org.au

Acknowledgements: 

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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