Why do physicians order costly CTs? Ultrasound yields better diagnosis, safer, less costly
In a bold, eye-opening editorial in the March 2010 issue of the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine, Harvard Professor, Beryl Benacerraf, MD, urges the medical community to use ultrasound instead of Computed Tomography (CT) as the first-line imaging test for better diagnosis capability in the evaluation of acute female pelvic and lower abdominal conditions. In the editorial, "Why Has Computed Tomography Won and Ultrasound Lost the Market Share of Imaging for Acute Pelvic Conditions in the Female Patient?", Dr Benacerraf raises the question: "How have we evolved to ordering the most expensive imaging technique first for these patients, only to be followed frequently by a far less costly ultrasound examination to clarify the CT findings? Ultrasound is the established modality of choice to evaluate the female pelvis, so why do patients with pelvic masses or pain get a CT scan? In my opinion, doing a CT scan first for female patients with lower abdominal pain is dangerous and wasteful, a drain of much-needed health care dollars."
Citing a recent study from the New England Journal of Medicine regarding the vast use of imaging procedures that involved radiation exposure, Dr Benacerraf emphasizes the fact that "radiation exposure is cumulative, and each exposure adds incrementally to the long-term danger of cancer". Alternatively, ultrasound is safe, radiation-free, and most frequently has superior diagnostic capability when evaluating patients with lower abdominal conditions. The advancement of ultrasound technology has resulted in machines that are less operator-dependent with the ability to produce images that can be evaluated in multiple views with 3D volume imaging.
Dr Benacerraf concludes "It may be time for ultrasound to regain its rightful place in the evaluation of acute female pelvic and lower abdominal conditions and save the population from the dangerous radiation exposure and excessive cost of starting a workup with CT as a first-line imaging test."
- Ultrasound more cost efficient than other medical imaging choicesFri, 22 May 2009, 8:30:08 EDT
- Computer model improves ultrasound imageTue, 4 Nov 2008, 12:24:20 EST
- Carotid artery ultrasound is an effective alternative to more invasive coronary angiographyMon, 14 Jun 2010, 18:03:35 EDT
- Sonohysterography is an alternative diagnostic tool for women with adenomyosisWed, 4 Mar 2009, 14:40:23 EST
- High-res US: First-line imaging choice for the evaluation of patients with foot drop?Thu, 6 May 2010, 10:03:34 EDT
- Why do physicians order costly CTs? Ultrasound yields better diagnosis, safer, less costlyfrom PhysorgTue, 2 Mar 2010, 13:28:24 EST
- Why do physicians order costly CTs? Ultrasound yields better diagnosis, safer, less costlyfrom Science BlogTue, 2 Mar 2010, 12:29:11 EST
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Learn more about
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- Seismic gap outside of Istanbul
- The contribution of particulate matter to forest decline
- Voices may not trigger brain's reward centers in children with autism, Stanford/Packard study shows
- Mars had oxygen-rich atmosphere 4,000 million years ago
- Unusual supernova is doubly unusual for being perfectly normal
- Even with defects, graphene is strongest material in the world
- Detection of the cosmic gamma ray horizon: Measures all the light in the universe since the Big Bang
- Genetic engineering alters mosquitoes' sense of smell
- Allosaurus fed more like a falcon than a crocodile, new study finds
- 'Popcorn' particle pathways promise better lithium-ion batteries