A 42-year-old female asked:
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i just had an angio pulmonary cat scan with contrast to rule out a pulmonary embolism. can that detect lung cancer? chest xray normal. 42 years old.

4 doctor answers
Dr. Stuart Hickerson
32 years experience Family Medicine
Yes: This type of Chest scan is primarily focused on the pulmonary artery and vasculature which is why you received the contrast. However, it is still a Chest CT and it takes a good look and the lung tissue too. It would see your lung tumor if it were there.
Answered on Jun 2, 2017
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Dr. Evan Lenkowsky
16 years experience Critical Care
Yes: A CTA will be able to detect abnormal lung masses with fairly decent accuracy. The test of choice would be a CT without contrast, however most radiologists can read through the added contrast material.
Answered on Jun 2, 2017
Dr. Edward Druy
53 years experience Radiology
Depends on size: Many patients who undergo a ct scan of the chest will have small or medium size nodules that are non-specific. A radiologist will document the size, and depending on the patients age and risk factors for developing lung cancer will recommend appropriate followup studies or sometimes even recommend a biopsy. We can suspect, but not diagnose lung cancer without a tissue diagnosis.
Answered on Apr 16, 2018
Dr. Michael Gabor
33 years experience Diagnostic Radiology
Yes,: that type of CT can detect lung cancer. Tiny nodules 2mm or less can potentially be detected. There are benign causes for nodules as well, so although CT is good at finding nodules, and possibly assigning a reasonable probability of malignancy based on certain imaging features, CT cannot make a definitive diagnosis of cancer.
Answered on Jun 2, 2017

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Dr. Anthony Filly
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See below: Prob not a pulmonary embolism but certainly good thing to rule out. I prefer ct pulmonary angiogram to vent perfusion but it should be adequate.
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Dr. Katharine Cox
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Likely: The way to prove it for sure is a PE scan. If you are having chest pain be reviewed. All the best.
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Unlikely : With two negative d dimers, the changes of having a PE is very unlikely. The rationale for this test is to prove no PE. it is a very sensitive test ... Read More
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Dr. Dan Fisher
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Unreasonable.: If you have been evaluated for this and there are no risk factors, you are at extremely low risk of having a PE. Your fear is unwarranted and is more ... Read More
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