JOURNAL ARTICLE

Study: reconsider the use of CT scans for patients who present with dizziness

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ED Management: the Monthly Update on Emergency Department Management 2012, 24 (4): 45-7
22471108
Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit have found that CT scans rarely show evidence of serious underlying conditions in patients who present with dizziness, yet they are frequently ordered by ED providers. In a study conducted over three years, researchers found that less than 1% of CT scans performed in patients with dizziness yielded significant results. Instead, in most cases, experts say a thorough history and evaluation can help providers narrow in on a differential diagnosis without the expense or radiation exposure associated with CT. The cost of the CTs over the three-year study period was $988,200. In the study, the patients who had some abnormal findings on CT scans had severe headaches or some neurological deficits along with the dizziness. For patients presenting with isolated dizziness, lightheadedness or positional vertigo without any other symptoms, the likelihood of finding an acute, life-threatening abnormality on a CT scan is quite low

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