Uncertainty and the Diagnostic Leviathan

“She had a normal CT yesterday. Why another?” I asked the physician.

“That scan was enhanced. Contrast obscures small kidney stones. We need an unenhanced CT to rule out a stone,” he reasoned.

“A small kidney stone is unlikely to explain her pain. There was no hydronephrosis or perinephric stranding. You will advise ‘avoid dehydration.’ This is good advice regardless of the presence of a 2-mm nonobstructing calculus,” I explained…

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