Thoracic CT in the ED: a study of thoracic computed tomography utilisation.

The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the use of thoracic Computed Tomography (CT) in the Emergency Department of a Dublin Academic Teaching Hospital over a six month period. Data was retrieved using the hospital's computerised information system. There were 202 referrals in total for thoracic CT from the Emergency Department during this time period. The most common indication for thoracic CT referral was for the investigation of pulmonary embolism with 127 (63%) referrals. There were 40 (25%) referrals for suspected malignancy and lung disease, whilst 8 (4%) of the referrals were for investigation of thoracic aortic dissection, 8 (4%) for infection, and 6 (3%) were for investigation of thoracic injury. Only 8 (4%) of all referrals were for investigation of injury as a result of chest trauma.