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CT protocol review calls for consistency, teamwork
March 3, 2014 -- Refining your CT protocols is a great way to accomplish a number of goals, including radiation dose reduction, workflow efficiency, and meeting new accreditation requirements. A team approach is best for the task, according to a new article that offers guidance in the March Journal of the American College of Radiology.
JACR: CT lung screening possible in community setting
February 27, 2014 -- A successful community hospital low-dose CT lung screening program is feasible and can be put in place relatively quickly, according to an article published online in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
Imaging looms large on new list of low-value emergency exams
February 19, 2014 -- If one list of unnecessary medical procedures is good, then two lists should be better, right? That could be the thinking behind a new list released this week in JAMA Internal Medicine of unnecessary tests in emergency medicine that are driving up healthcare costs. And the new list takes aim specifically at medical imaging.
ACC, others call for patient-centric heart imaging
February 18, 2014 -- Noninvasive cardiovascular imaging decisions must become more patient-centric and individualized, according to a statement from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) that was endorsed by 14 other medical societies.
CMS launches public comment period for CT lung screening
February 11, 2014 -- In another move toward Medicare payment for CT lung cancer screening, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on February 10 opened up a 30-day public comment period regarding a proposal to make CT screening for high-risk individuals one of Medicare's covered preventive services.
Evidence is weak in NY Times editorial on radiation risk
February 11, 2014 -- On January 31, the New York Times published an op-ed on the cancer risks related to medical radiation. Titled "We are giving ourselves cancer," the article has produced an outpouring of commentary. In this response, thoracic surgeon Dr. Frederic W. Grannis Jr. questions whether the authors accurately portrayed the risks of medical radiation.
JACR: Study confirms slowdown in CT use among private payors
February 10, 2014 -- The use of CT has increased over the past 15 years faster than other forms of imaging, leading to concerns about overuse and radiation exposure. But since 2009, CT's growth rate has slowed among privately insured patients, according to a study in the February issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
Are you ready to comply with new radiation safety rules?
February 6, 2014 -- Radiation safety is no longer just a legal issue for imaging facilities in states such as California and Texas that have adopted new radiation reporting laws. With the publication of new diagnostic imaging standards by the Joint Commission, all imaging sites soon will have to comply with dose reporting. Are you ready?
NY Times op-ed links medical radiation to cancer, death
January 31, 2014 -- A new op-ed article published on Friday in the New York Times is revisiting the debate over medical radiation and cancer, linking the overuse of CT to rising cancer rates and even death in patients who are scanned.
Quantitative DECT predicts adenocarcinoma grade
January 22, 2014 -- Quantitative assessment of tumors using dual-energy CT (DECT) can help predict the aggressiveness and invasiveness of lung adenocarcinoma, according to a study by researchers from South Korea that was presented at the RSNA 2013 meeting.
Software adds diagnostic value for heart disease patients
January 21, 2014 -- Dutch researchers have developed 3D visualization software that fuses anatomical and functional data into a single image. They believe the fused images make it easier to diagnose cases of coronary artery disease, according to a paper in the January issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.
Coronary CTA identifies patients at risk of coronary syndrome
January 19, 2014 -- A negative coronary CT angiography (CTA) has a high predictive value for ruling out acute coronary syndrome and can decrease the hospital stay of patients who come to emergency rooms complaining of severe chest pain, according to a new study conducted in Saudi Arabia.
JAMA: CAC analysis reveals flaws in Agatston score
January 17, 2014 -- In a study of coronary artery calcium (CAC) and heart disease, researchers found that greater plaque density appears to protect against cardiovascular events. The finding is at odds with existing assumptions about the implications of coronary calcium, according to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Report: CT procedure volume drops 11% over past 2 years
January 16, 2014 -- The number of CT procedures being performed in the U.S. has declined at an average annual rate of 5.5% over the past two years, reversing years of steady growth in volume, according to a new report by market research firm IMV Medical Information Division.
For colon cancer patients, CT boosts recurrence detection
January 15, 2014 -- For colorectal cancer patients who have undergone curative surgery, follow-up with either CT or a blood test increases the rate at which they'll receive surgery again, but it doesn't appear to have a big effect on patient survival, according to a study in the January 15 Journal of the American Medical Association.
AJR: Using ultrasound 1st for appendicitis saves money
January 14, 2014 -- Using ultrasound as a first-line evaluation tool for patients suspected of having appendicitis -- and sending equivocal cases on to CT -- reduces radiation dose and saves healthcare dollars compared with a CT-only protocol, according to a new study in the January American Journal of Roentgenology.
USPSTF seeks comments on colon screening plan
January 10, 2014 -- In a move that could eventually lead to Medicare reimbursement for virtual colonoscopy screening, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) on Thursday opened to public commentary a draft research plan for colorectal cancer screening.
CT utilization data suggest physician ownership plays role
January 9, 2014 -- An analysis of CT utilization data at a large health insurance plan suggests that myriad factors -- including physician ownership of the practice and the government insurance status of the patient -- shape the likelihood that a patient will receive a CT scan.
CAD may catch missed pulmonary embolism on CTPA studies
January 8, 2014 -- Pulmonary embolism can be missed on CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA) exams for many reasons, but computer-aided detection (CAD) software may be able to help prevent these damaging false negatives, according to research in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.
CT colonography sheds light on 'disappearing' polyps
January 3, 2014 -- About 10% of all polyps detected at CT colonography can't be found at initial colonoscopy follow-up. But the reasons for their disappearance are largely predictable, according to a study presented at the 2013 RSNA meeting.
USPSTF gives final nod to CT lung cancer screening
December 31, 2013 -- After years of discussion and evidence gathering, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) this week gave its final approval for annual screening with low-dose CT for individuals at high risk for lung cancer.
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