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Less Radiation on Children: When Unenhanced CT May Not Be Needed

December 8, 2009
Written by: , Filed in: Abdominal Imaging, Pediatric Radiology
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Eliminating unenhanced CT scans may be a sound option when evaluating abdominal tumors in children, says a small but surprising study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology. Using 131 previous cases, researchers in Brazil asked two experienced radiologists to separately evaluate each CT scan twice, first without the unenhanced phase and then with both the unenhanced and contrast-enhanced scans. Each radiologist separately gave the most likely diagnosis and told whether tumor calcification was present. Diagnoses from both radiologists showed near-perfect agreement between the two methods, with no significant differences in lab results. Both methods had similar sensitivity and specificity for the most frequent growths, while evaluations done without the unenhanced scans showed good sensitivity and specificity for tumor calcification.

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