Navigation Links
CT Scans Catch More Clots in Lungs

Study finds newer method slightly more effective than traditional lung scans,,,,

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Pulmonary embolism -- a life-threatening blood clot in the lungs -- can be very difficult to diagnose, but new research suggests a technique using CT scanning might be slightly more effective than lung scans at spotting such clots.

Canadian researchers found that computed tomographic pulmonary angiography (CTPA) detected pulmonary embolisms in 19.2 percent of a group of study volunteers who'd had symptoms of a pulmonary embolism, compared to 14.2 percent of the group who underwent the more standard test, ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) lung scanning.

More important, a pulmonary embolism was missed in only two out of the 561 people who underwent CTPA versus six out of 611 people who'd had V/Q scans. If a pulmonary embolism goes undetected and untreated, almost one-third of people with this type of blood clot will die.

"CTPA can safely be used to exclude the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism," said study author Dr. David R. Anderson, head of the division of hematology at Dalhousie University and Capitol Health in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

"We ended up diagnosing more patients with pulmonary embolism with CTPA rather than V/Q scanning. That was a bit of a surprise," said Anderson, who added that this finding needs to be investigated further. "Sometimes, when you detect very small blood clots that are isolated to single vessels, clinically, we wonder if such a small abnormality is the cause of symptoms."

Results of the study are published in the Dec. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"In general, the tendency is that when a clot is found, unless there's a specific contraindication, the clot is treated, because we recognize that clots can be very serious, and they can recur," said Dr. Jeffrey Glassroth, vice dean and chief academic officer at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. Glassroth is also the author of an accompanying editorial.

However, the anticoagulant medicines used to treat blood clots aren't without risk. In some people, these medications can cause excessive bleeding that can be life-threatening. So, it's important to accurately diagnose pulmonary embolism. "There's a definite downside to treating unnecessarily," Anderson noted.

For the past 30 years, V/Q scanning has been the tool most often used to diagnose pulmonary embolisms. The test requires an injection of a radioactive tracer and the inhalation of radioactive gas. CTPA has been around for about 10 years and also involves using an injected radioactive tracer but doesn't require the inhalation portion included in V/Q scans. The cost of the two procedures is similar, but there's a slightly higher chance of a reaction to the contrast material used in CTPA, and the radiation dose from the imaging technique is higher with CTPA, according to Glassroth.

While CTPA quickly became an accepted alternative, it wasn't clear how the two methods compared to each other. To answer that question, Anderson and his colleagues recruited 1,417 people being treated for symptoms of pulmonary embolism.

Seven hundred and one of the study volunteers had CTPA to rule out pulmonary embolism, while 716 had V/Q scans. Almost 20 percent of those undergoing CTPA were diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism, compared to 14.2 percent of the V/Q volunteers.

A pulmonary embolism was missed in just 0.4 percent of those who had CTPA versus 1 percent of those who had V/Q scanning, according to the study.

"We did confirm that the newer modality (CTPA) was at least as safe as V/Q," said Anderson.

And, although doctors may still be debating which clots need immediate treatment, Glassroth said the good news from this study is that "we have ever-improving capabilities for detecting clots."

More information

To learn more about pulmonary embolism, visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

SOURCES: David Anderson, M.D., professor, medicine, and head, division of hematology, Dalhousie University and Capitol Health, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Jeffrey Glassroth, M.D., vice dean, chief academic officer, and professor, medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago; Dec. 19, 2007, Journal of the American Medical Association

Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. European directive will halt use of MRI scans; cancer diagnosis and treatment will suffer
2. PET scans can accurately detect a breast tumors response to chemotherapy
3. High-tech CT scans: not a bad choice to test for clogged arteries
4. New Computerized Scans Effective for Spotting Clogged Arteries
5. PET scans useful for some cancer treatment, but how do patients fare?
6. PET Scans Can Spot Cervical Cancers Return
7. Post-treatment PET scans can reassure cervical cancer patients
8. CT scans to determine heart disease in the emergency room
9. Obesity Keeps Patients From Needed CT Scans After Surgery
10. PET Scans Could Boost Lung Cancer Diagnosis
11. Rise in CT Scans Poses Cancer Risk
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
CT Scans Catch More Clots in Lungs
(Date:10/13/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... With Fall ... heat styling tool for this month’s Facebook Hair Styler Contest. , Enter to win! ... Contest Image Answering: What Is Your Favorite Hair Style? , 3. Follow us on ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... for children with autism, PediaPlex , a Southlake, Texas, child development and ... ABA Therapy and educating military families about their options for receiving this ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Bambeco, Inc., the premier brand for designing, ... closed on a $20.5 million funding round led by ABS Capital Partners, a ... continued rapid growth and expansion, broaden the Company’s product offerings, and expand its ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... Vereb has been named the organization’s Executive Vice President of Operations, and three ... to key leadership roles in the company. , Debbie Vereb’s appointment to Executive ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Curly Hair Solutions® is thrilled ... Toronto, an exhibition featuring the newest products and services to hit the market ... be more excited to unveil their recent partnership with Trade Secrets, a leading ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... -- Millions of smokers worldwide have used vaping to help ... April 2015 study released by a team ... to be up to 95 percent less harmful than ... the technology was first introduced the potentially harmful chemical ... --> --> Palm Beach Vapors, the ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... NEW YORK , Oct. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... expected to reach USD 3,698.92 million by 2020 ... CAGR of 15.21% between 2015 and 2020. By ... analyzers, imaging systems, incubators, laser systems, micromanipulator systems, ... accessories. Based on technology, the market is segmented ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... Oct. 12, 2015 Leadership of the National Association ... face as Aspasia Shappet , CEO of MESVision resumed ... the NAVCP Board at its annual strategic planning meeting in ... as Chairwoman of the organization from May 2013 to May ... stepped down as a result of the increased demands of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: