Screening for Lung Disease in SSc Called Feasible With Low-Dose CT


A computed tomography imaging protocol accurately pinpoints interstitial lung disease in systemic sclerosis.The authors call it safe for routine use.

Frauenfelder T, Winklehner a, Nguyen TDL, et al.Screening for interstitial lung disease in systemic sclerosis: performance of high-resolution CT with limited number of slices: a prospective study.Ann Rheum Dis. (2014) doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-205637 Published online September 30

Routine low-dose screening may be possible for systemic sclerosis patients who are at risk for interstitial lung disease (ILD).

Image readers rate more than 90% of the images from the low-dose computed tomography (CT) protocol in this population as “excellent” or “acceptable,” report researchers from University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland. The readers accurately identify extensive ILD in 88.3% of the images.

Earlier diagnosis of ILD may mean earlier treatment and better outcomes, they point out.

Their 9-slice high-resolution CT screening protocol delivers an effective radiation dose of about .08 mSv, a 96.2% reduction in radiation from 2.09 mSv with a standard whole-chest CT protocol.

The authors suggest that low-dose CT screening in this patient population may be incorporated into the “daily clinical routine of early detection and screening of interstitial lung disease.”


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