Debate continues over potential overuse of multislice CT

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There are now more than 1,000 multislice CT systems installed around the globe, and the procedures continue to grow in popularity among patients and physicians. However, there is some debate among practitioners regarding the possible overuse of the technology, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The risks of overuse, some cardiologists believe, include excessive and unnecessary exposure to radiation and procedures. However, the systems are extremely useful in emergency room settings because of their speed and can generate remarkable images of difficult-to-image parts of the body (e.g., heart or lungs) in a matter of seconds. One of the most appealing things about 64-slice CT is that it is so good at diagnosing heart problems. However, some cardiologists are fretting because they don’t know how the CT exams will impact their practices. This is because common procedures such as invasive catheterization can often be ruled out as a result of the advanced information obtained from the CT scan. Beyond radiation exposure, others are concerned that people that do not have high risk factors for heart disease are being scanned regardless, and insurance companies and Medicare might not cover the costs.

More: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/health/20061001-9999-1n1scan.html