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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Association of low-dose whole-body computed tomography with missed injury diagnoses and radiation exposure in patients with blunt multiple trauma.

Stengel D, Mutze S, Güthoff C, et al. JAMA Surgery. 2020.

The Joint Commission recognizes potential overuse of diagnostic imaging, particularly computed tomographic (CT) scans, to be a patient safety risk due to excess radiation exposure. This study sought to determine whether low-dose whole-body CT (WBCT), which exposes the patient to less radiation, has similar accuracy to standard-dose WBCT. A cohort of over 1,000 patients with suspected blunt trauma were prospectively recruited; half received standard-dose WBCT and the other half received low-dose WBCT.  The authors found that use of low-dose WBCT did not increase risk of missed injury diagnosis, while reducing median radiation exposure by almost half.