Does 16-detector computed tomography improve detection of non-traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage in the Emergency Department?

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Does 16-detector computed tomography improve detection of non-traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage in the Emergency Department?

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The diagnosis of subarachnoid hemorrhage remains difficult to establish, yet the sensitivity of increasingly available 16-detector computed tomography (CT) has not been evaluated. The objective of this study was to estimate the sensitivity of 16-detector CT for the diagnosis of non-traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage in the Emergency Department (ED). A retrospective review was performed in an academic tertiary care hospital. Patients presenting to the ED from September 2003 through December 2004 with symptoms suggestive of subarachnoid hemorrhage and having a final diagnosis of non-traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage were eligible for study. Diagnosis was established by positive 16-detector CT examination of the brain, or spinal fluid analysis. Patient demographics and results of CT, angiogram, and spinal fluid analysis were reviewed. Sensitivity of 16-detector CT was calculated by comparing CT results and cerebral angiogram results. Refined Wilson Simple Asymptotic 95% confidence interval

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