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CT Preferred in Diagnosis of Pulmonary Embolism

Emergency physicians, radiologists overwhelmingly support it as best diagnostic tool

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism, nearly all emergency physicians and radiologists prefer computed tomography, according to a study in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Saurabh Jha, M.D., of the University Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues surveyed 62 radiologists and 52 emergency physicians regarding their preferred diagnostic strategies for the detection of pulmonary embolism.

The researchers found that computed tomography was the first-line diagnostic choice for 90 percent of radiologists and 96 percent of emergency physicians. They also observed that there was an increased use of ventilation-perfusion scintigraphy in patients with renal failure and allergy to iodinated contrast material, and that few respondents preferred MRI.

"The potential benefits of MRI, even without exogenous contrast administration, are yet to be realized," the authors conclude. "However, because emergency physicians have indicated that patient safety is a primary concern with regard to imaging, a role for MRI is likely to emerge."

One author reported a financial relationship with GE Healthcare.

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