Which imaging studies are performed in the workup of bacterial sepsis?

Updated: Feb 05, 2019
  • Author: Amber Mahmood Bokhari, MBBS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Imaging modalities should be focused on areas of clinical concern, based on the history and physical examination, and may include the following:

  • Chest radiography (to rule out pneumonia and diagnose other causes of pulmonary infiltrates)
  • Chest CT scanning (to further evaluate for pneumonia or other lung pathology)
  • Abdominal ultrasonography (for suspected biliary tract obstruction)
  • Abdominal CT scanning or MRI (for assessing a suspected non-biliary intra-abdominal source of infection or delineating intrarenal and extrarenal pathology)
  • Site-specific soft tissue imaging, including ultrasonography, CT scanning, or MRI (to assess for possible abscess, fluid collection, or necrotizing skin infection)
  • Contrast-enhanced CT scanning or MRI of the brain/neck (to assess for possible masses, abscess, fluid collection, or necrotizing infection)

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