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The researches find that the Computed tomography (CT) of the head uses special X-ray equipment to help assess head injuries; dizziness, and other symptoms of the brain. This new study; therefore published online in Current Problems in Diagnostic Radiology; evaluates the complexity of patients undergoing head-CT examinations. Because Compute tomography (CT) is an imaging procedure that uses special x-ray equipment to create detail pictures, or scans, of areas inside the body.

Symptoms of the brain

It is also called computerized tomography and computerized axial tomography (CAT). The term tomography comes from the Greek words tomos (a cut, a slice, or a section) and graphein (to write or record). Therefore Each picture created during a CT procedure shows the organs; bones, and other tissues in a thin “slice” of the body. The entire series of pictures produced in CT is like a loaf of sliced bread you can look at each slice individually (2-dimensional pictures); or you can look at the whole loaf (a 3-dimensional picture).

Computer programs are used to create both types of pictures. Most modern CT machines take continuous pictures in a helical (or spiral) ; fashion rather than taking a series of pictures of individual slices of the body; as the original CT machines did. Helical CT has several advantages over older CT techniques: it is faster, produces better 3-D pictures of areas inside the body; and may detect small abnormalities better.

Original CT machines

The newest CT scanners, called multislice CT or multi detector CT scanners, allow more slices to be imaged in a shorter period of time. Chen and her co-investigators used 2017 Medicare claims data to identify the most common site for performing head-CT examinations. After finding the most common site was emergency departments (ED); therefore the authors classified the data by the complexity of the patient’s ED visit.

The visits were analyzed by the level of complexity (1-least complex to 5-most complex patient) as well as the diagnosis reported on the billed head CT claims.Of the 6,363,404 head-CT exams in 2017, 56.1% were performed in the ED and 70% of non-contrast exams performed in the ED were ordered in the most complex patient encounters (level 5 visits). Because The most common diagnosis reported for head-CT scans without contrast agents in level 5 visits were “dizziness and giddiness”; and for head-CT without and with contrast agents was “headache”.

Most complex patient

“Head-CT is not only most frequently order in the ED, but also during the most complex ED visits; suggesting that the ICD-10 codes associate with such exams do not appropriately reflect patient complexity;” stated coauthor Ryan Lee, M.D., a radiologist at Einstein Healthcare Network, “The valuation process  also consider the complexity of associate billed patient encounters.”