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CT scan growth rate slows from early 2000s heyday: report

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | June 05, 2012

According to IMV, outpatient and ER volume accounted for 82 percent of the total CT volume in 2011, up from 66 percent in 2001. Inpatient volume was 18 percent, down from 34 percent in 2001.

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Interestingly, contrast media use also fell. About 67 percent of CT procedures used contrast media in 2007. Last year, it was down to 53 percent, the report said.

Also of note, although radiation exposure has featured prominently in news coverage of CT technology over the past few years, most respondents to the survey didn't think it was helping to contract CT procedure growth. Only 10 percent of survey respondents said they "totally agreed" that public fears over radiation exposure would restrict growth at their institution, although 75 percent said reducing radiation exposure to patients was a "very important" departmental priority.

For those planning on buying CT scanners between now and 2015, two-thirds want a system with 64 or more slices. The average replacement cycle is 8.9 years, IMV said.

The report estimates 13,775 fixed CT scanners are at work at 8,465 sites across the country.

IMV's "2012 CT Market Outlook Report" was answered by 405 radiology administrators nationwide and extrapolated to the rest of the country. IMV is based in Des Plaines, Ill., and its medical information group has been around for about 35 years.

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