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Health NewsFeed #394


A CT scan sometimes works better than the tried-and-true chest x-ray to diagnose some cases of pneumonia. Johns Hopkins researchers found that the better pictures produced by the scan allowed them to spot pneumonia damage to the lungs and its structures that might have been missed otherwise in 40% of the patients studied.

Radiologist and lead researcher Dr. Douglas Beall says that while the CT scan is more expensive, it saves money that would have been wasted on inappropriate or ineffective treatment.

Those 40% of the patients would not have been treated correctly otherwise if they had not gotten the CT scan. What that translates into is that patients are treated accurately, if they are treated correctly and diagnosed correctly, and they get out of the hospital mush sooner. The price of a CT scan pales in comparison to additional days in the hospital.

Not every pneumonia needs a CT scan, but in patients with heart disease, diabetes or other lung diseases, the scan can lead to quicker and more effective treatment for compliCTed cases of pneumonia.

-- JHMI --
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