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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: July 2010

Chapter 17 - Immunosuppressed patients

from Section II: - Systemic disorders and management


The reason for the imaging request should be stated on the referral form to allow the most appropriate imaging technique to be used. It may be helpful to discuss the clinical problem with a radiologist. Most hospitals in the UK now use a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) to store X-ray, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound examination images directly onto the hospital computer system. This chapter discusses X-ray imaging that includes chest X-ray and abdominal X-ray, and CT scanning that includes CT head, CT cervical spine, CT chest, and CT abdomen. Nuclear medicine techniques are useful in searching for occult foci of infection by the administration of radioactive labelled white blood cells. Doppler ultrasound uses alterations in reflection of the ultrasound beam by flowing blood cells and can be used to assess either arterial or venous flow.

Further reading

Gea-BanaclocheJC, OpalSM, JorgensenJet al. (2004) Sepsis associated with immunosuppressive medications: an evidence based review. Crit. Care Med. 32(11): S578–S590.
HuangL, QuartinA, JonesD, HavlirDV (2006) Intensive care of patients with HIV infection. N. Engl. J.Med. 355(2): 173–81.
MorrisA, MasurH, HuangL (2006) Current issues in the critical care of the human immunodeficiency virus-infected patient. Crit. Care Med. 34(1): 42–9.
RosenMJ, NarasimhanM (2006) Critical care of immunocompromised patients: human immunodeficiency virus. Crit. Care Med. 34(9): S245–S250.
SoubaniAO (2006) Critical care considerations of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Crit. Care Med. 34(9): S251–S267.
WarrellDA, CoxTM, FirthJD, BenzEJ (2003) Oxford Textbook of Medicine. Oxford: Oxford University Press.