J Korean Soc Emerg Med.  2021 Aug;32(4):328-336.

Relationship of computed tomography and emergency department revisits in febrile elderly patients

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


The number of elderly people visiting emergency rooms is rapidly increasing. Fever is one of the common complaints of patients who come to the emergency room, and it is often difficult to determine its cause in elderly patients only through basic examinations and tests. This study sought to verify the relationship between computed tomography and emergency department revisits of febrile elderly patients. Methods: This study is a retrospective medical record analysis study. Patients who came to our emergency room between September 2016 and September 2019, aged 65 years or more, and with body temperature higher than 37.8°C at the time of presentation or during their stay in the emergency room were enrolled. Patient age, sex, vital signs at triage, laboratory tests, whether computed tomography (CT) was conducted or not were analyzed. The primary outcome was set as revisits to the emergency department within 72 hours after discharge, due to any reason.
Three thousand two hundred and forty patients were enrolled and of these 289 patients revisited the emergency department (ED). In the revisit (-) group, CT was performed on 44.09% of patients and 54.67% of patients in the revisit (+) group thus showing a statically significant difference.
This study showed that in elderly patients with fever presenting to the ED, patients who underwent a CT had 1.558 higher odds of revisit to the ED compared to patients who did not undergo a CT. From this result, it should be considered that the decision to discharge the febrile elderly patients based on the results of CT examination may not be appropriate.


Fever; Aged; Emergency medicine; Hospital readmission
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