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Incidental findings on the CT scan

Author(s):

Peter Devitt
Head, Upper Gastrointestinal Surgical Unit
Royal Adelaide Hospital

Overview:

Rightly or wrongly, the abdominal CT scan is one of the most frequently performed imaging investigations in modern medicine. Many patients seen in the Emergency Room with acute abdominal problems will get a CT scan and likewise in general practice this investigation plays a leading role in the management of patients with abdominal pain. In the appropriate circumstances the CT scan can yield invaluable information, but the clinician must accept that in about 10% of cases the scan will yield what is essentially an incidental finding -  with the risk that this might well distract from the patient's main problem.


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