Rationale and Objectives. To determine whether a standard computed tomographic (CT) protocol is used in the staging of lung cancer. Materials and Methods. A questionnaire was designed to determine what type of CT scanner is used, whether intravenous contrast material is used, how often the abdomen is scanned and at what level, and the section thicknesses used in scanning the chest and abdomen in patients with lung cancer. A total of 1,118 survey forms were mailed to members of the Society of Thoracic Radiology and to all community hospitals in the United States with at least 300 beds. Results. The authors received 520 responses (47%) to the 1,118 questionnaires mailed. Of these 520 responses, 140 were from society members, 256 were from hospitals with 300-500 beds, and 124 were from hospitals with more than 500 beds. One-half of hospital respondents used helical CT scanners. Significantly more society members used helical CT scanners (P < .001). Intravenous contrast material was used to opacify mediastinal blood vessels at 449 (86%) of 520 hospitals. Intravenous contrast material was used for liver scanning at 363 (82%) of 444 hospitals, but it was used less often at hospitals in the northeast region and by society members than at hospitals in other regions (P < .001). A mixture of section thicknesses was commonly used (252 [48%] of 520 responses) for scanning the chest; a thickness of 8-10 mm was used in scanning the abdomen at most hospitals (348 [78%] of 445 responses). Conclusion. No CT protocol is consistently used for the examination of patients with lung cancer. Use of intravenous contrast material during chest or liver CT also is not uniform.
- Computed tomography (CT), utilization
- Lung neoplasms, CT
- Lung neoplasms, metastases
- Lung neoplasms, staging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging