Rational use of Computed Tomography Scan head in the Emergency Department of a high volume tertiary care public sector hospital

Rational use of CT head in Emergency Department

  • Tahira Nishtar
  • Tabish Ahmad
  • Nosheen Noor
  • Fayaz Muhammad
Keywords: CT scan, Emergency department, Rational use


Objective: To emphasize the rational use of Computed Tomography (CT) head in emergency department (ED) of a high volume tertiary care hospital.

Methods: This retrospective observational study was conducted in Radiology Department of Medical Teaching Institute Lady Reading Hospital (MTI-LRH), Peshawar, Pakistan from November 1st 2017 to 31st January 2018. Patients of all ages and both genders presenting to the emergency department with post traumatic and non-traumatic indications for emergency CT head scan were included in the study. The imaging was performed on GE 16 multi slice Optima CT system. The imaging protocol included slice thickness of 3-5mm, non-contrast study for cases of head trauma or suspected stroke. Where needed intravenous contrast was administered e.g. to exclude meningitis in patients presenting with severe headache. Patients undergoing CT examination for regions of the body other than head and brain were excluded from the study as their number was insignificant. Reporting was done on PACS and results analyzed using latest SPSS version.

Results: Out of 4284 CT scans performed in emergency department 90.8% were CT head (3893). Among 3893 CT scan head done in ED, 2581 cases were reported normal (66.29%), while 1312 cases had positive findings (33.7%), including post traumatic and non-traumatic.

Conclusion: Misuse of CT head is common especially in an emergency setting. Emergency physicians should be encouraged to obtain a detailed history and perform a thorough physical examination with reference to internationally standardized guidelines, while ordering CT scan.

How to cite this:
Nishtar T, Ahmad T, Noor N, Muhammad F. Rational use of Computed Tomography Scan head in the Emergency Department of a high volume tertiary care public sector hospital. Pak J Med Sci. 2019;35(2):302-308.
doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.35.2.719

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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