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Cardiology Homepage

FDA greenlights AI software for stroke warning in CT analysis Enables specialists to intervene before notified by a radiologist

Gadolinium could light way to stroke assessment through the eyes Could eye evaluations replace brain imaging for stroke assessment?

European Heart Rhythm Association recommends remote navigation tech to reduce occupational radiation exposure Replacement for heavy lead aprons

New paper brings attention to heart disease risk associated with breast cancer treatment Especially affects those over 65

ECRI releases its annual Top 10 Hospital C-suite Watch List Technology and infrastructure issues that hospitals need to be aware of

One-of-a-kind TEE cardiac imaging probe invented to better train cardiologists A safe and realistic simulator

Lower costs and rapid care for cardiology patients tied to eConsults May save payors more than $400 per patient

Donald Trump had a CT scan, here's what we learned President deemed healthy, despite presence of heart disease

Dr. Prem Soman American Society of Nuclear Cardiology names 2018 president

Canadian resident pleads guilty in U.S. health care scam Sold device under false pretense of treating more than 200 diseases

CT and ultrasound make it on the list

Study places CT among 10 most over-utilized medical exams... twice

by Lauren Dubinsky , Senior Reporter
A new study revealed ten of the most overused medical tests and treatments and CT imaging made the list twice.

“CT is a reassuring test, in that doctors can see images which reduce the feeling of uncertainty, and CT has become more readily available for quick use,” Dr. Daniel Morgan of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, told HCB News. “The downside of CT is primarily that one sees minor abnormalities that prompt a cascade of tests or even procedures, which are sometimes harmful to investigate [as] false positive results.”

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For the study, Morgan and his research team at the university evaluated over 2,200 journal articles. They then chose the ten most influential and relevant articles and composed a list for health care practitioners.

They found that although CT imaging is increasingly being used to assess respiratory symptoms and diagnose pulmonary embolism, it’s not necessary. For patients with non-life-threatening respiratory symptoms, CT did not improve their outcomes and often led to false positive results.

CT pulmonary angiography is mostly overused in the emergency department, compared to less risky tests. This can result in delays in care, higher costs and patient harm from radiation exposure and contrast dye.

Ultrasound is another modality that’s often used unnecessarily. Over 90 percent of carotid ultrasonography exams performed on patients without symptoms lead to inappropriate stenting or surgery.

Transesophageal echocardiography is known for being a sensitive test for diagnosing heart defects that can lead to stroke, but a recent study found that it doesn’t improve outcomes compared to a simpler test. TEE is also an invasive procedure that requires sedation.

Advanced cardiac imaging for patients with chest pain has more than tripled over the last 10 years. But studies are now finding that many of the low-risk patients are undergoing unnecessary procedures as a result.

According to the study, other overused tests and treatments include blood tests for prostate cancer, supplemental oxygen for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, surgery for meniscal cartilage tears, nutritional support for inpatients and strategies to reduce inappropriate antibiotic use.

Although health care practitioners typically don’t rely on the latest evidence from studies that investigate these procedures, Morgan is optimistic that his study, which appears in the most recent issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, will change that.

“We hope doctors in practice will reconsider harmful practices and provide better care for patients,” he said.

Cardiology Homepage


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