CT scans in­creased by 500% from 1995 to 2007: study

Modern Healthcare - - Late News -

The num­ber of an­nual emer­gency room vis­its that in­cluded CT scans in­creased by 500%—from 2.7 mil­lion to 16.2 mil­lion— be­tween 1995 and 2007, ac­cord­ing to a study ap­pear­ing in the Nov. 29 is­sue of the jour­nal Ra­di­ol­ogy. In ad­di­tion to find­ing a sub­stan­tial in­crease in the num­ber of CT scans per­formed an­nu­ally, the re­searchers also noted that imag­ing pro­ce­dures ne­ces­si­tat­ing higher doses of ra­di­a­tion ex­po­sure in­creased at a faster rate than those re­quir­ing less ra­di­a­tion. Such high-dose scans in­cluded ab­dom­i­nal and pelvic scans, which de­liver roughly seven times more ra­di­a­tion than head scans. “While our study did not di­rectly ad­dress the is­sue of whether CT is be­ing used ap­pro­pri­ately, the steady in­crease raises the ques­tion of whether the use of CT is driven com­pletely by med­i­cal ap­pro­pri­ate­ness,” said David Lar­son, lead author on the study and a ra­di­ol­o­gist at Cincin­nati Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal Med­i­cal Cen­ter. For the study, re­searchers ex­am­ined data from the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion’s Na­tional Hos­pi­tal Am­bu­la­tory Med­i­cal Care Sur­vey.

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