FRED OVSIEW, M.D.
To the editor: The recent papers by Larson and colleagues (1) on the cost effectiveness of computed tomography (CT) scanning in psychiatric patients is in the good company of many similar studies of the use of high-technology diagnostic procedures. Arguing with the economics or quarreling with the authors' methods is difficult.
But the authors assume that "case finding" or reassurance for the physician is the only possible gain from a CT scan. By case finding they mean identifying a nonpsychiatric brain disease, and thus nonspecific findings such as atrophy are considered irrelevant. This ignores completely the growing body of data
OVSIEW F. Computed Tomography and Psychiatric Disorders. Ann Intern Med. ;96:126–127. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-96-1-126_3
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1982;96(1):126-127.
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