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Benefits of abdominal CT in the ER outweigh risks

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A prospective, ongoing study from Harvard University shows that CT's benefits may outweigh the risks of overutilization, at least for triaging abdominal pain.

A prospective, ongoing study from Harvard University shows that CT's benefits may outweigh the risks of overutilization, at least for triaging abdominal pain.

Radiologist Dr. Rathachai Kaewlai and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital asked ER physicians questions about the top diagnosis, their level of confidence regarding diagnosis, and the management plan before and after performing CT for triage of abdominal pain. The investigators found that CT had influenced or changed management in 75% of the 515 patients who presented to the ER with abdominal pain. According to Kaewlai, abdominal CT could help ER physicians attain a high level of diagnostic confidence while securing a faster workflow. He presented the study at the 2008 American Roentgen Ray Society meeting.

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