Does No News Mean Good News For A CT Scan Results?

No it does not. No news about your CT report simply means that the results of the scan are not yet available to you.  This can be for many reasons like the radiology physician not reading it yet.  There can also be system issues like the report not yet being available to you.

Report availability

Some health systems will email the availability of test results to you via a portal on the internet.   You can then look into those results by logging in to the portal.  Other systems may make the report available to the your doctor in the electronic record.

Doctor calling

Some physicians will call their patients with results while others may wait for an appointment with you to discuss results.   This is especially true for routine results with nothing seen that is unexpected.  If the result of the CT indicates a need urgent referral or treatment then the doctor may contact you sooner.

Physicians will often call patients with urgent test results.   These urgent results usually have something that needs to be addressed right away.  This can be a life threatening finding like a clot in the lungs (pulmonary embolism), a pneumonia, appendicitis or kidney stone blocking a kidney.  We see these types of findings on routine scans all the time.

When does the radiologist call your doctor with results?

The radiology physician will often call the referring doctor with the results of the scan if he feels they are urgent and need treatment.  Often your doctor will then call you and provide a plan for addressing the problem.  This may involve a prescription for a medicine, referral to a specialist or trip to the emergency room.

No call or news from your doctor about a CT report does not indicate everything is ok.  The doctor may not have gotten to your results yet.  Perhaps he is busy with other patients and office hours.

There is a chance that your doctor feels the results do not need to addressed urgently.  This may mean that you have a condition or diagnosis which can safely be addressed in the coming weeks when you come in for your scheduled appointment.

Radiology backlog causing delay in test results

The radiology doctor may not have read your scan yet.  This is especially true if it was ordered as a routine study and you are an outpatient or came from home to have it.  There may be a backlog of scans to read.  Normally routine outpatients are read within a day but this is not always the case.

There is also always the chance for an oversight.  Perhaps your exam result slipped through the cracks.  There is no harm in calling and asking to speak with your doctor about the results.  You can always request the results of your scan from the radiology department.

Do not assume no news is good news

If your feeling ill, you should call your doctor or head to the emergency room.   In no way does no news about your scan result indicate that all is well.  There are numerous reasons why you did not get your results as outlined.  You should always err on the side of caution and get medical attention.



Disclaimer: The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.

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