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July 18, 1977

Computerized Cranial Tomography: Effect on Diagnostic and Therapeutic Plans

JAMA. 1977;238(3):224-227. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280030032016

The effect of computerized cranial tomography (CCT) on physicians' diagnostic and therapeutic plans in 194 patients scanned consecutively during a 17-day period at the Massachusetts General Hospital was studied. Use of CCT substantially decreased the perceived need for other neurodiagnostic tests in this patient population. There was a reduction of at least 41% in radionuclide scans, 52% in angiograms, and 73% in pneumoencephalograms compared to the needs projected had CCT not been available. Therapy was altered after 37 scans in 36 patients (19% of those examined): new treatment was begun after 15 scans, previously planned therapy became more precise after 9 scans, treatment was found to be unnecessary after 7 scans, and treatment was abandoned as worthless after 6 scans.

(JAMA 238:224-227, 1977)