Radiology in the Intensive Care Unit (Part I)

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The increasing complexity of the intensive care patient combined with the recent advances in imaging technology has generated a new perspective on intensive care radiology. The purpose of this 2-part review article is to describe the contribution of radiology to the management of these critically ill patients. The first article will discuss the impact of picture archiving and communication system (PACS) on critical care management and utility of the portable chest radiograph in the detection and evaluation of pulmonary disease with correlation to computed tomography (CT). The second article describes in more detail the increasing role of CT in diagnosis and therapeutic procedures. In particular, the implementation of CT pulmonary angiography in the evaluation of pulmonary emboli and the introduction of the new multislice detector CT scanners that allow even the most dyspneic patient to be evaluated. Pleural complications in the intensive care unit and image-guided intervention will also be discussed.

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