Chest radiography is the imaging technique of choice in evaluating patients with suspected pneumonia because of its low radiation dose, low cost, and wide accessibility. In daily practice, radiographs are used to confirm the clinical diagnosis of pneumonia, characterize the extent and severity of disease, search for complications such as empyema, monitor the response to therapy, and examine for possible alternative or additional diagnoses. Although CT scan has no defined role in the routine assessment of patients with either community-acquired or nosocomial pneumonias, its advantages of superior contrast resolution and cross-sectional display can often be helpful in the analysis of complex cases, particularly when radiographic evidence of associated central obstruction, cavitation, lymphadenopathy, or empyema is equivocal. In the immunocompromised patient population, high-resolution CT has been shown to be more sensitive than plain film radiography in the early detection of pulmonary infections.
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View details for PubMedID 10516903