Navigation Links
Use of CT scans in emergency rooms increased 330 percent in 12 years
Date:8/10/2011

ANN ARBOR, Mich. A review of national data from 1996 through 2007 reveals a sharp uptick in the use of computed tomography, or CT, scans to diagnose illnesses in emergency departments, a University of Michigan Health System study finds. The rate of CT use grew 11 times faster than the rate of ED visits during the study period.

The study also showed that the use of CT scans was less common early in the study period, but rose significantly over time. Just 3.2 percent of emergency patients received CT scans in 1996, while 13.9 percent of emergency patients seen in 2007 received them.

"This means that by 2007, 1 in 7 ED patients got a CT scan," says first author Keith Kocher, M.D., M.P.H., a clinical lecturer in U-M Department of Emergency Medicine. "It also means that about 25 percent of all the CT scans done in the United States are performed in the ED."

Using data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, compiled by the Centers for Disease Control, the researchers reviewed 1.29 billion weighted records of emergency visits between 1996 and 2007, 97.1 million of which included patients who received a CT scan. Their findings were published online ahead of print publication in the Annals of Emergency Medicine and highlighted as a featured article.

The study doesn't provide the reasons why CT use increased over time -- but "it does make one wonder," Kocher notes.

"There are risks to overuse of CT scans, because each scan involves radiation -- so if they're done for marginal reasons you have to question why," Kocher says. "For example, patients who complained of flank pain (pain in the side) had an almost 1 in 2 chance of getting a CT scan by the end of the study period. Usually most physicians are doing that to look for a kidney stone, but it's not clear if it's necessary to use a CT scan for that purpose."

He adds, "Also, during the study period, ED visits increased by about 30 percent, while CT use increased 330 percent, meaning the rate of CT use grew 11 times faster than the rate of ED visits."

Patients who received a CT scan in the beginning of the study had a 25 percent chance of being admitted to the hospital directly from the ED, while by 2007, this rate had been cut in half.

For all of the 20 most common reasons patients came to the ER for treatment, the study found that CT use increased during the study period. However, CT use was particularly high for the following complaints, with at least 25 percent of all patients receiving a scan by 2007:

  • impairments of nerve, spinal cord or brain function
  • flank pain
  • convulsions
  • vertigo, dizziness or light-headedness
  • headache
  • abdominal pain
  • general weakness

The number of emergency patients receiving CT scans increased the most from 1996 to 2007 among patients with abdominal pain, flank pain, chest pain and shortness of breath. Rates of CT use rose most dramatically among older adults.

"I think a lot of the increase is related to changes in how doctors practice medicine and the availability of CT scanners," Kocher says. "They provide lots of information quickly and so doctors and patients see CTs as a means of arriving at diagnoses efficiently and conveniently. Couple that with the fact that CT scanners are commonly housed in or near the ED itself, and the barriers to getting the test done are lower than in the past."


'/>"/>

Contact: Ian Demsky
idemsky@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. CT scans unleash a breakthrough in catching early stage lung cancer
2. More Evidence CT Scans Better at Detecting Lung Cancer
3. Lung cancer screening trial shows screening with CT scans reduces lung cancer deaths
4. Hospitalizing children with normal CT scans after blunt head trauma is not necessary
5. Brain Scans to Spot Alzheimers May Be Available This Year
6. Chronic Pot Smoking Affects Brain Chemistry, Scans Show
7. PET scans predict effectiveness of treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in HIV patients
8. CT Heart Scans No Benefit to Patients Without Symptoms
9. Scans of Egyptian Mummies Show Heart Disease Was Ancient Malady
10. Large study finds CT scans are frequently unnecessary after head injury in children
11. When Docs Own MRIs, Back Pain Scans Increase: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/21/2017)... ... January 21, 2017 , ... Phytocéane invites you ... from the rest of the world with ZANZIBAR SHOWER GEL. Inspired by the beauty ... ingredients, Virgin Coconut Oil and moisturizing vegetal coral to create this gentle, crystal-clear shower ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... In the United States, 20 million women and 10 ... they often feel shame for having struggled with an eating disorder as well as ... “Rising Strong in Life After an Eating Disorder” -- to be featured at this ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... , ... January 20, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House ... in homes across the world. Yisrayl says this generation is a time like no other ... turn to the Bible. , Yisrayl says he does not want to sound like an ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... Florida (PRWEB) , ... January 20, 2017 , ... Lice ... head lice cases in families with school-aged children since the holiday season. , ... the holidays with their families, sharing hugs and taking photos, which is the head-to-head ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... ... "TransFlare 4K Mystique comes with 44 colorful mysterious transitions that are fully ... - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , TransFlare 4K Mystique contains 44 lens ... and light leak transitions have a very high-dynamic range for super smooth falloff. Simply ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... 20, 2017 Research and Markets has ... Type ([CBC, HGB/HCT, BMP, BUN Creatinine, Electrolyte Testing, HbA1c Testing, Comprehensive ... Segment Forecasts, 2013 - 2024" report to their offering. ... The global clinical ... 2024 Introduction of innovative solutions on the grounds of ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... , January 20, 2017 Stock-Callers.com ... (NASDAQ: SGYP ), Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE: ... ), and Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PTX ... on Thursday, January 19 th , 2017, finishing near its ... Care Index dropped over 0.7%, while shares of health care ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... 2017 Wells Specialty Pharmacy announces the acquisitions and ... in Winter Park, Florida and Pharm-EZ ... Operations have been consolidated into the 3796 Howell Branch Road ... announce that Chad Tomlinson , former Vice President of ... immediately. Mr. Tomlinson is a Graduate of Florida State University ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: