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Body Pushers: Low-Dose CT, Always the Best Choice? A Study of the Diagnostic Performance of CT Scout View

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Document pages: 9 pages

Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this study has been to evaluate the diagnostic information contained in the CT scout view in the detection of body packing. Materials and methods: Retrospect analysis of 43 CT scans between July 2011 and June 2013 in asymptomatic suspects of body packing (29 men, 14 females, mean age 38 ± 9 years). Results: A total of 11 positive cases of body packing were identified. In 10 (91 ) of the cases packets were relatively large and spares in number (3 or less); in 7 (64 ) a single packet has been identified. 6 (55 ) of the packets were located rectally, 4 (36 ) vaginally and in 1 (9 ) case multiple small packets of approximately 1 cm in size were found to have been ingested orally. Maximum and minimum diameters were 5.9 ± 3 cm and 2.9 ± 1.4 cm, respectively. The mean weight of packets was 7.5 ± 4.2 g (range 2 - 54 g). In 73 (n = 8) heroin had been detected; other drugs such as cocaine (n = 1) and cannabis (n = 1) were encountered once, respectively. One packet was identified retrospectively and its content could therefore not be identified. The average effective dose was 3.8 ± 2.1 mSv for CT, of that 0.12 ± 0.01 mSv was required for the CT scout view. Conclusion: If CT scout view were treated as a diagnostic image, some CT scans may be omitted, thereby maintaining streamlined operations and achieving further dose reduction jointly in the workup of body packing.

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