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Insight in H1N1 flu testing may help high-risk patients

Category: Infectious Diseases

Computed tomography (CT) scans may be more effective than standard X-rays at determining the severity of an H1N1 patient's condition, new research suggests.

In a study, which will be published in the December issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology, researchers gave chest x-rays to seven patients infected with swine flu, and performed additional testing via CT scans on three of the patients, HealthDay News reports.

"All patients with CT abnormalities showed abnormal findings on the corresponding chest X-rays," the study author Dr Amr M. Ajlan said. "However, the extent of involvement was more diffuse and the distribution of disease was better characterized on CT."

The researcher noted that high-risk patients who have contracted H1N1 may have severe complications after becoming infected. He asserted that the study's results may assist physicians in prospectively diagnosing H1N1 using lab testing.

"Our study suggests that CT is superior to standard chest X-rays and should be the imaging modality of choice in high-risk patients."
As with testing for autoimmune diseases, cancers or STDs, flu testing can help doctors make early and effective diagnoses to frustrate the spread or severity of a disease.

The CDC identifies young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those who have chronic pulmonary, cardiovascular, hepatic, hematological, neurologic, neuromuscular, or metabolic disorders as high risk groups for swine flu contraction.

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