Purpose. From the early 90s, spiral CT technology has considerably changed the diagnostic capability of Pulmonary Embolism (PE), giving a direct vision of intravascular thrombi. Further technological progress has strengthened its diagnostic impact leading to an essential role in clinical practice. The advent of Multi-Detector CT (MDCT) has subsequently increased the reliability of this technique to the point of undermining the role of pulmonary angiography as the gold standard and occupying a central position in diagnostic algorithms. The aim of this paper is to appraise this "evolution" by means of a meta-analysis of the relevant literature from 1995 to 2004. Results. The review of the literature showed the sensitivity and specificity of CT to have increased from 37-94% and 81-100% (single-detector CT) to 87-94% and 94-100% (4-channel multidetector CT), especially thanks to the possibility of depicting subsegmental clots, with an interobserver agreement of 0.63-0.94 (k). Conclusions. CT is one of the most reliable and effective methods in the diagnosis is PE, with the advantage of being extremely fast and providing alternative diagnoses. Recent improvements in MDCT technology confers the highest value of diagnostic accuracy with respect to other imaging modalities such as scintigraphy, angiography, MRI, D-dimer assay and Doppler US.
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging