Published: 2016-12-30

If unnecessary computed tomography scans are performing for abdominal emergent pathologies in our radiology unit; retrospective study with comparing performed abdominal computed tomography scans with previous safer tests like ultrasound

Betül Tiryaki Baştuğ


Background: Abdominal computed tomography (CT) is an imaging method that uses X-rays and may be done to look for cause of abdominal pain or swelling and fever, hernia, masses, ınfections, injury. Besides advantages, CT use ionizing radiation, which has the potential to cause cancer. So CT may still be done if the benefits greatly outweigh the risks and it is important to minimize unnecessary CT scans. While a CT scan may provide information, it is sometimes unlikely to change the treatment. This is exactly the type of scan that may be doing a patient more harm than good. So we wonder how we are performing nontraumatic emergent abdominal CT scans in our own radiology unit, if applications are more effective and least harmful.

Methods: In random 232 patients were selected from 1188 nontraumatic emergent abdominal CT scans in the last one year. Findings and previous ultrasonographies were compared and if CT scans brought additional information were examined.

Results: In 5 patients ileus, in 2 patients perforation, in 2 patients appendicitis and in 3 patients ureteral calculi were detected on CT that have not been detected on sonography. In 52 patients pathologies were detected on both ultrasound (US) and CT. 168 patients had not had any pathology. All these findings have been thought that only in 12 patients CT examinations were effective (3 for diagnosing and 9 for verifying secondary findings).

Conclusions: Doctors should consider whether some scans are doing more harm than good because CT scans may cause a large number of new cancers every year.



Abdominal CT, Abdominal US, Emergent pathologies, Cancer

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