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June 1982

Skull-Roentgenographic Screening of Psychiatric Inpatients

Author Affiliations

Department of Radiology Louisiana State University Medical Center PO Box 33932 Shreveport, LA 71130

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1982;39(6):745. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1982.04290060085020

To the Editor.  —Because psychiatric symptoms are nonspecific and commonly occur in medical as well as psychiatric disease, a variety of diagnostic examinations have been suggested as appropriate screening tests for patients with such complaints. At the Louisiana State University Medical Center (Shreveport), a roentgenographic skull series has been routinely ordered for all patients admitted to the inpatient psychiatric service, to help detect unsuspected and treatable disease involving the CNS. We assessed the value of such screening for patients with psychiatric symptoms, by retrospectively studying 100 consecutive patients admitted to our medical center's inpatient psychiatric service. Each patient had undergone a routine roentgenographic skull series consisting of four views: posteroanterior, right lateral, left lateral, and Towne projection. The patients' medical records were examined for such clinical factors as presence of focal neurologic signs, history of trauma or documented neurologic disorder, and clinical diagnosis. The clinical diagnoses included schizophrenic disorder (30 patients),

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