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ACR Weighs In On Recent CT Scan Warnings

December 23, 2009
Written by: , Filed in: Diagnostic Imaging
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Patients should not undergo any medical imaging exam unless the medical benefit clearly outweighs any risk, the American College of Radiology said in a press release Tuesday. The statement addresses concerns over the growing use of imaging in the U.S. and recent studies suggesting that CT radiation exposure may raise the risk of cancer.

“Medical imaging exams have been directly linked to greater life expectancy, declines in cancer mortality rates, and are generally less expensive than the invasive procedures that they replace,” the press release begins. The statement encourages doctors to follow guidelines from the ACR Appropriateness Criteria, which outlines imaging criteria for hundreds of medical conditions.

According to the press release, the CT studies recently published in the Archives of Internal Medicine have several problems. For example, the studies assume that, except for patients who already have cancer or are in the last five years of life, those that undergo CT scans share the same life expectancy as the general population. “This is not accurate,” the ACR statement says.


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