Ultrasound Vs Ct Scans

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Old 09-Mar-2010
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Post Ultrasound Vs Ct Scans

scientist has urged the medical fraternity to use ultrasound instead of computed tomography (CT), for better first-time diagnosis, in evaluating acute female pelvic and lower abdominal conditions.

"How have we evolved to ordering the most expensive imaging technique first for these patients, only to be followed frequently by a far less costly ultrasound examination to clarify the CT findings?" asked Beryl Benacerraf, clinical professor of radiology, obstetrics and gynaecology at Harvard University.

"Ultrasound is the established modality of choice to evaluate the female pelvis, so why do patients with pelvic masses or pain get a CT scan?"

"In my opinion, doing a CT scan first for female patients with lower abdominal pain is dangerous and wasteful, a drain of much-needed health care dollars," Benacerraf said.

Citing a recent study from the New England Journal of Medicine regarding the vast use of imaging procedures that involved radiation exposure, Benacerraf emphasises that "radiation exposure is cumulative, and each exposure adds incrementally to the long-term danger of cancer."

Alternatively, ultrasound is safe, radiation-free, and most frequently has superior diagnostic capability when evaluating patients with lower abdominal conditions, says a Harvard release.

The advancement of ultrasound technology has resulted in machines that are less operator-dependent with the ability to produce images that can be evaluated in multiple views with 3D volume imaging.

Benacerraf's write-up appears in the March issue of the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine, of which she is the editor-in-chief.

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