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Summary of NCRP Workshop on CT in Emergency Medicine, now available

Reston, VA (April 28, 2011) A summary of the National Council on Radiation Protection's (NCRPs) workshop on the appropriate use of computed tomography (CT) in emergency medicine, and a list of recommendations from participating organizations to help control the inappropriate use of CT in the emergency department, is now available via the May issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

As a generalization, the benefit-risk estimates for CT scanning favor its use over most other imaging procedures and many other types of diagnostic technology. However, concerns have risen regarding the increase in clinical use of CT scans.

"Concerns regarding the clinical use of CT scans prompted the NCRP to host a workshop with sponsorship from the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and other private and government organizations to define the circumstances and programs for assessing the value of CT scanning while addressing the issues of utilization patterns, radiation exposures and overutilization," said Otha Linton, lead author of the summary. Co-authors include Thomas S. Tenforde, PhD, E. Stephen Amis, MD, and Paul Sierzenski, MD.

The workshop presentations and summary form a basis for the preparation of a report that will provide recommendations on a potential path forward to modulate CT use in emergency medicine, trauma and acute health care.

Participating organizations, including the ACR and ACEP, offered the following recommendations:

  • Educate health care providers and others of the status and appropriate applications of CT scanning in emergency medicine and acute care.
  • Promote processes and skills to reduce the need for CT imaging when possible, such as the use of traditional radiography, ultrasound and emergency point-of-care ultrasound.
  • Communicate concerns on the overutilization of CT to hospitals, together with recommended collaborative protocols to reduce variability in CT scanning utilization in emergency medicine.
  • Develop mechanisms for reliable recording for emergency medicine patients of the number and doses received in CT scans and other imaging procedures.
  • Develop evidence-based guidelines that address the benefits of CT imaging in emergency medicine, including improvements in patient treatments and outcomes.

The May issue of JACR is an important resource for radiology and nuclear medicine professionals as well as students seeking clinical and educational improvement.


Contact: Heather Curry
American College of Radiology

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