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:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Beleza Medspa ... fat composition regulations. This is the first time that Coolsculpting is being used ... least every six months to ensure they meet the prescribed body-fat standard, measured by ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... Despite last ... meeting, expect Janet Yellen and company to wait until March 2017 for an interest ... University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. , “The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... property (IP) to its specialty academic programs. , Answering to the increasing demand ... certificate programs in health law, and environmental and land use law. ,  , ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... There are nearly ... than 32 million cancer survivors worldwide. On Sunday, June 5, 2016, communities around the ... National Cancer Survivors Day®. , National Cancer Survivors Day® is an annual worldwide ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... In an effort to provide hair restoration information ... both Snapchat users and those who do not use the app. Dr. Mohebi, the founder ... page, Dr. Mohebi Live . , Dr. Mohebi says, “The positive response to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 Cirujanos ... para ayudar a los médicos a compartir sus mejores ... a escala mundial. Profesionales médicos de Europa, África, ... han apuntado a la aplicación, que combina la transmisión ... entorno totalmente seguro. Educación   "Imagine ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016  NxStage Medical, Inc. ... company focused on advancing renal care, today announced that ... to participate in the following schedule of investor conferences. ... made available at http://ir.nxstage.com/ .   ... Jefferies Healthcare Conference NY, NY           Friday, June 10, ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... 2016 Les ... la première endoprothèse à double thérapie au ... portant sur les membres inférieurs et la ... entreprise mondiale spécialisée dans la fourniture de ... a élargi son portefeuille pour inclure des ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: