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Low-Probability Lung Scan Findings: A Need for Change

Russell D. Hull, MBBS, MSc; and Gary E. Raskob, MSc
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Grant Support: By grants from the Ontario Ministry of Health, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, and the Canadian Heart Foundation.

Requests for Reprints: Russell D. Hull, MBBS, MSc, The University of Calgary, Department of Medicine, Foothills Hospital, 3330 Hospital Drive Northwest, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, Canada.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Hull and Mr. Raskob: The University of Calgary, Department of Medicine, Foothills Hospital, 3330 Hospital Drive Northwest, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, Canada.

Ann Intern Med. 1991;114(2):142-143. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-114-2-142
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

The sensitivity and specificity of Biello's (1) and Mc-Neil's (2) widely used criteria for the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism are unknown. These classic criteria are currently the basis for categorizing lung scan findings as being of high, intermediate, or low probability (1-4).

Previous prospective studies, in which consecutive patients had pulmonary angiography, have been criticized for reporting predictive values without reporting sensitivity and specificity (5). The latter indices are independent of prevalence, whereas predictive values depend on prevalence and therefore are more influenced by the clinical setting in which the study is done. The Prospective Investigation of Pulmonary Embolism Diagnosis


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