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February 9, 1979

Computerized Tomography and Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Author Affiliations

Neurological Institute of Savannah, PC Savannah, Ga

JAMA. 1979;241(6):563-564. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03290320011010

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To the Editor.—  I refer to the article "Computerized Tomography in Neurological Evaluations" by Naidich et al (240:565, 1978). The value of computerized tomographic (CT) scanning is unquestioned, as the article so well illustrates.I am concerned, however, with the impressions left from the section dealing with subarachnoid hemorrhage. The authors cite the article in Radiology by Scotti et al (123:85-90, 1977) and suggest that CT scanning may detect nearly all subarachnoid hemorrhages within the first few days following hemorrhage. I believe this is misleading to the practitioner who does not deal frequently with this condition.While it may be true that CT scanning will detect many or most subarachnoid hemorrhages, it certainly will not detect all of them. If the CT scan alone is relied on as the basis for diagnosis of subarachnoid hemorrhage, a certain number of cases will be missed. At this time, the diagnostic accuracy of