CT Scanning in Psychiatric Inpatients

II. Clinical Data Predicting Scan Results

Thomas P. Beresford, Frederic C. Blow, Richard C.W. Hall, Linda Nichols, James W. Langston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

To date, clinicians have lacked measurable data guiding the use of computed-tomography (CT) studies of the brain for patients presenting with psychiatric abnormalities. In a review of 156 records, only two clinical signs were found that consistently preceded a positive CT result: mental state impairment (p < .001) and focal neurologic signs (p < .05). Mental state impairment occurred frequently (34 of 50 patients with a positive CT scan reading) but was only moderately sensitive (67%) or specific (60%). Focal neurologic signs were much less frequent (9 of 50 positive scans), very insensitive (25%), but also highly specific (93%). Positive predictive values for each were unimpressive (mental state, 26%; focal signs, 44%). Neither the specialty of the examiner nor any of several other organic signs and symptoms predicted the CT reading beyond chance expectation. These data suggest that ordering a brain CT scan can be guided by mental state or focal neurologic findings, but that these physical signs alone are not sufficiently precise to rule structural cerebral pathology in or out of the differential diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-327
Number of pages7
JournalPsychosomatics
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Psychiatry
Inpatients
Tomography
Neurologic Manifestations
Reading
Brain
Signs and Symptoms
Differential Diagnosis
Computed Tomography
Pathology
Mental State
Impairment

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

CT Scanning in Psychiatric Inpatients : II. Clinical Data Predicting Scan Results. / Beresford, Thomas P.; Blow, Frederic C.; Hall, Richard C.W.; Nichols, Linda; Langston, James W.

In: Psychosomatics, Vol. 29, No. 3, 01.01.1988, p. 321-327.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Beresford, Thomas P. ; Blow, Frederic C. ; Hall, Richard C.W. ; Nichols, Linda ; Langston, James W. / CT Scanning in Psychiatric Inpatients : II. Clinical Data Predicting Scan Results. In: Psychosomatics. 1988 ; Vol. 29, No. 3. pp. 321-327.
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