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February 1987

Impact of Computed Tomography on Stroke Management and Outcome

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics (Dr Hazelton) and Neurology (Dr Earnest), University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver; and the Department of Neurology, Denver General Hospital (Dr Earnest).

Arch Intern Med. 1987;147(2):217-220. doi:10.1001/archinte.1987.00370020037031

• Computed tomographic (CT) scanning is effective to show cerebrovascular lesions causing the symptoms and signs of a stroke. However, CT scanning may not change stroke morbidity or mortality. A retrospective medical chart review compared 93 patients with cerebral infarctions treated before CT scanning was available with 92 patients who had undergone scanning. The two groups showed no difference in type of treatment given or in subsequent severity of disability, mortality, or discharge destination. However, the post-CT group had a significant reduction in the total number of neurodiagnostic procedures, but estimated total charges for all diagnostic procedures were not significantly reduced. Computed tomographic scanning may not be beneficial for stroke patients who have a clear history of acute onset, are alert, and have no findings indicating an intracranial mass. (Arch Intern Med 1987;147:217-220)