Low dose CT of the lung
Smokers are at considerably higher risk of contracting lung cancer. Approximately 85% of the affected individuals are heavy smokers. Low dose computer tomography facilitates an early detection of the disease. Extensive studies (N Engl J Med 2011; 365:395-409) have shown that, in the context of such early detection, this disease is not only discovered earlier and can be treated less invasively, but the mortality connected with lung cancer can also be significantly reduced.
In Germany, the statutory health insurance system still lacks a screening program similar to mammography. Nevertheless, the use of an early detection low dose CT for smokers is justified and sensible. This examination does not require the administration of contrast media nor any other preparation.
Medical societies therefore recommend a screening, i. e. annual check-ups for smokers between 55 and 80 years of age with 30 “pack years” (packs of cigarettes per day x years of consumption). Besides qualified and experienced radiologists and state-of-the-art computer tomography scanners with appropriately optimized examination protocols, the German Society for Pneumology and the German Radiology Society demand that the decision for follow-up measures is made interdisciplinarily by radiologists, pneumologists, thorax surgeons and, if necessary, pathologists, and measures be ideally performed in a certified lung cancer center. Thanks to the close cooperation with the respective departments at our hospital locations at Martha Maria in Solln and the Rotkreuzkrankenhaus in Nymphenburg our group practice meets these requirements.
For symptoms such as repeated infections, cough, phlegm, or weight loss, the administration of a contrast medium may be sensible; in cases such as these, we ask you to please contact us ahead of time to allow for a discussion of the best-suited examination method with you as well as the referring medical colleagues.