How Will You Need Me, How Will You Read Me, When I'm 64 (or More!)? Volume Computed Tomographic Scanning and Information Overload in the Emergency Department

David P. Chason, Jon A. Anderson, Jason S. Stephens, Richard A. Suss, Jeffrey B. Guild, Timothy J. Blackburn, Julie G. Champine, Thomas J. Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations


Computed tomographic (CT) scanning technology now employs up to 320 detector rows of 0.5-mm width and allows rapid acquisition of isotropic volume datasets over the entire body. Data from a single CT acquisition can be reconstructed into image series that would formerly have required multiple acquisitions. Small isotropic voxels permit scan parameters to be general while reconstruction algorithms remain specific to anatomy. While this results in more efficient operation in the Emergency Department, it necessitates new ways of displaying, interpreting, and archiving the information. Critical decisions include how much of the patient to scan and how to time contrast injections when imaging multiple organs. These choices must be made in light of dose considerations to the patient and the general population of patients. The technical basis of high-density CT scanning is discussed, including detector configurations and reconstruction techniques. Volumetric scanning in the Emergency Department can improve patient care but requires a change of technical habits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-226
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent Problems in Diagnostic Radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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