There are currently no estimates of the benefits of CT screening for coronary artery calcification, but when they become available, they could be compared with these estimates of radiation-induced cancer risk to design appropriate detection and prevention strategies. "Many technical factors influence radiation dose from coronary artery calcification measurement with multidetector CT," the authors write. "Careful optimization of these factors may reduce radiation exposure without detriment to the clinical purpose of the screening examination. Further efforts by professional societies are necessary to standardize protocols in order to decrease unnecessary radiation exposure and to minimize cancer risk."
(Arch Intern Med. 2009;169:1188-1194. Available pre-embargo to the media at www.jamamedia.org.)
Editor's Note: Co-author Dr. Einstein is supported in part by a National Institutes of Health K12 Institutional Career Development Award. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
Editorial: Results Shed Light on Risks and Benefits
"The critical appraisal of any medical test or strategy requires careful assessment of its potential risks, benefits and costs," write Raymond J. Gibbons, M.D., and Thomas C. Gerber, M.D., Ph.D., of Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., in an accompanying editorial.
"Accurate definition of the risks, benefits and costs of the use of coronary artery calcium scanning with
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