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Dual section helical computed tomography had high sensitivity and specificity for detecting acute pulmonary embolism

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 QUESTION: In patients with suspected acute pulmonary embolism (PE), what is the diagnostic accuracy of dual section helical computed tomography (CT)?


Blinded comparison of pulmonary dual section helical CT with pulmonary digital subtraction arteriography, the diagnostic standard.


Hospital radiology department in Boulogne, France.


158 patients who were 18–75 years of age (mean 58 y, 54% women) and had clinically suspected acute PE. Exclusion criteria were clinical signs of life threatening PE, renal failure, history of allergy to iodinated contrast media, or refusal to participate.

Description of test and diagnostic standard

Dual section helical CT was done in a caudocranial direction (begun at the level of the inferior wall of the right ventricle and ending above the aortic arch for imaging the main, lobar, segmental, …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Dr S D Qanadli, Department of Radiology, Ambroise Paré Hospital–René Descartes Paris V University, 9 avenue Charles de Gaulle, 92104 Boulogne, France. Fax + 33 1 49 09 5547