HPI lists common CT exams for mitigating the contrast shortage

2022 05 23 20 54 2444 Neiman Hpi 400

A new report conducted by the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute (HPI) and published May 23 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology is listing the most common CT exams Medicare beneficiaries receive in an effort to discern how best to cope with the ongoing contrast shortage crisis.

"The current shortage of iodinated contrast in the United States due to the COVID-19 related production shutdown in China is causing severe disruptions in patient care," the institute said in a statement.

A study conducted by a team led by Dr. Richard Duszak of Emory University in Atlanta included data from 9.6 million contrast-enhanced CT exams undergone by Medicare beneficiaries in 2019. The study authors found that use of contrast CT was highest in outpatient and emergency department settings, as well as by body region in the abdomen and pelvis.

The highest use of CT angiography for the period compared with standard CT imaging was of the brain, the group wrote.

The team hopes the study results will "help guide current intense efforts nationally and institutionally to identify strategies to minimize or avoid iodinated contrast use by using alternative imaging modalities, contrast agents, or protocols that reduce or minimize waste resulting from individual doses," Duszak said in the HPI statement. "Such strategies will be most efficient and impactful when focused on the most frequently used services."

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