Radiologist recommended follow-up chest CTs show clinically relevant findings

January 17, 2015 - A radiologist’s recommendation for chest computed tomography (CT) to evaluate an abnormal finding on a chest x-ray has a high yield of clinically relevant findings, according to a study1 recently published in Radiology.

The study evaluated the diagnostic yield of recommended chest CT prompted by abnormalities detected on outpatient chest radiographic images. For chest CTs acquired within 1 year of the index chest x-ray, chest CT images were reviewed to determine if there was an abnormality that corresponded to the chest radiographic finding that prompted the recommendation.

The results showed clinically relevant corresponding abnormalities were present on chest CT images in 41.4% (286 of 691) of cases; nonclinically relevant corresponding abnormalities in 20.6% (142 of 691) of cases; 38.1% (263 of 691) of the cases had no corresponding abnormalities; and newly diagnosed, biopsy-proven malignancies were detected in 8.1% (56 of 691) of cases. The authors concluded the these recommendations had a high yield of clinically relevant findings.

1. Harvey H, Gilman MD, Wu CC, et al. Diagnostic Yield of Recommendations for Chest CT Examination Prompted by Outpatient Chest Radiographic Findings. Radiology. 2014 Dec 15:140583.

 Source: Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Prevention & Early Detection.