December 11, 1981

CT scanning of the brain: a revolution in only eight years

JAMA. 1981;246(23):2667-2668. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320230003001

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A National Institutes of Health panel of experts put its stamp of approval on one general area of use of the decade's most controversial medical technology— computed tomography (CT)—at a consensus development conference on CT scanning of the brain in early November.

Just eight years after its introduction, the radiographic imaging technique "has transformed the diagnosis and much of the management of structural disease of the brain and its surrounding tissue," the panel said in its draft report.

There was little substantive disagreement during 2 1/2 days of presentations and discussions by academic experts. Fred Plum, MD, chairman of the Department of Neurology, Cornell University Medical College, and chief neurologist, New York Hospital, New York City, chaired the 13-member panel, made up mostly of radiologists, neurologists, and neurosurgeons.

The panel's conclusions: CT is the tool of choice in the primary diagnosis of suspected brain abscess, intracranial mass lesions, spontaneous intracranial