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Abstract

CLINICAL SCENARIO  You are back where we put you in the previous article1 on diagnostic tests in this series on how to use the medical literature: in the library studying an article that will guide you in interpreting ventilation-perfusion (V/Q) lung scans. Using the criteria in Table 1, you have decided that the Prospective Investigation of Pulmonary Diagnosis (PIOPED) study2 will provide you with valid information. Just then, another physician comes looking for an article to help with the interpretation of V/Q scanning. Her patient is a 28-year-old man whose acute onset of shortness of breath and vague chest pain began shortly after completing a 10-hour auto trip. He experienced several episodes of similar discomfort in the past, but none this severe, and is very apprehensive about his symptoms. After a normal physical examination, electrocardiogram and chest radiograph, and blood gas measurements that show a Pco2 of

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