Self-referred whole-body CT imaging: current implications for health care consumers.
ABSTRACT To conduct an empirical analysis of self-referred whole-body computed tomography (CT) and develop a profile of the geographic and demographic distribution of centers, types of services and modalities, costs, and procedures for reporting results.
An analysis was conducted of Web sites for imaging centers accepting self-referred patients identified by two widely used Internet search engines with large indexes. These Web sites were analyzed for geographic location, type of screening center, services, costs, and procedures for managing imaging results. Demographic data were extrapolated for analysis on the basis of center location. Descriptive statistics, such as frequencies, means, SDs, ranges, and CIs, were generated to describe the characteristics of the samples. Data were compared with national norms by using a distribution-free method for calculating a 95% CI (P <.05) for the median.
Eighty-eight centers identified with the search methods were widely distributed across the United States, with a concentration on both coasts. Demographic analysis further situated them in areas of the country characterized by a population that consisted largely of European Americans (P <.05) and individuals of higher education (P <.05) and socioeconomic status (P <.05). Forty-seven centers offered whole-body screening; heart and lung examinations were most frequently offered. Procedures for reporting results were highly variable.
The geographic distribution of the centers suggests target populations of educated health-conscious consumers who can assume high out-of-pocket costs. Guidelines developed from within the profession and further research are needed to ensure that benefits of these services outweigh risks to individuals and the health care system.
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ABSTRACT: Purpose: To define the interpretative performance of radiologists experienced in computed tomographic (CT) colonography and to compare it with that of novice observers who had undergone directed training, with colonoscopy as the reference standard.Materials and Methods: Physicians at each participating center received ethical committee approval and followed the committees' requests regarding informed consent. Nine experienced radiologists, nine trained radiologists, and 10 trained technologists from nine centers read 40 CT colonographic studies selected from a data set of 51 studies and modeled to simulate a population with positive fecal occult blood test results: Studies were obtained in eight patients with cancer, 12 patients with large polyp, four patients with medium polyp, and 27 patients without colonic lesions. Findings were verified with colonoscopy. An experienced radiologist used 50 endoscopically validated studies to train novice observers before they were allowed to participate. Observers used one software platform to read studies over 2 days. Responses were collated and compared with the known diagnostic category for each subject. The number of correctly classified subjects was determined for each observer, and differences between groups were examined with bootstrap analysis.Results: Overall, 28 observers read 1084 studies and detected 121 cancers, 134 large polyps, and 33 medium polyps; 448 healthy subjects were categorized correctly. Experienced radiologists detected 116 lesions; trained radiologists and technologists detected 85 and 87 lesions, respectively. Overall accuracy of experienced observers (74.2%) was significantly better than that of trained radiologists (66.6%) and technologists (63.2%). There was no significant difference (P = .33) between overall accuracy of trained radiologists and that of technologists; however, some trainees reached the mean performance achieved by experienced observers.Conclusion: Experienced observers interpreted CT colonographic images significantly better than did novices trained with 50 studies. On average, no difference between trained radiologists and trained technologists was found; however, individual performance was variable and some trainees outperformed some experienced observers.© RSNA, 2007Radiology 01/2007; 242(1):152-161. DOI:10.1148/radiol.2421051000 · 6.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Computed tomographic scan as a screening procedures in asymptomatic individuals has seen a steady increase with the introduction of multiple-raw detector CT scanners. This report provides a brief review of the current controversy surrounding CT cancer screening, with a focus on the radiation induced cancer risks and clinical efficacy. 1. A large study of patients at high risk of lung cancer(the National Lung Screening Trial[NLST]) showed that CT screening reduced cancer deaths by 20%(1.33% in those screened compared with 1.67% in those not screened). The rate of positive screening tests was 24.2% and 96.4% of the positive screening results in the low-dose CT group were false-positive. Radiation induced lung cancer risk was estimated the most important in screening population because ERR of radiation induced lung cancer does not show the decrease with increasing age and synergistic connection between smoking and radiation risk. Therefore, the radiation risk may be on the same order of magnitude as the benefit observed in the NLST. Optimal screening strategy remain uncertain, CT lung cancer screening is not yet ready for implementation. 2. Computed tomographic colonography is as good as colonoscopy for detecting colon cancer and is almost as good as colonoscopy for detecting advanced adenomas, but significantly less sensitive and specific for smaller lesions and disadvantageous for subsequent therapeutic optical colonoscopy if polyps are detected. The average effective dose from CT colonography was estimated 8-10 , which could be a significant dose if administered routinely within the population over many years. CT colonography should a) achieve at least 90% sensitivity and specificity in the size category from 6 and 10 mm, b) offer non-cathartic bowl preparation and c) be optimized and standardized CT parameters if it is to be used for mass screening. 3. There is little evidence that demonstrates, for whole-body scanning, the benefit outweighs the detriment. This test found large portion of patient(86~90.8%) had at least one abnormal finding, whereas only 2% were estimated to have clinically significant disease. Annual scans from ages 45 to 75 years would accrue an estimated lifetime cancer mortality risk of 1.9%. There is no group within the medical community that recommends whole-body CT. No good studies indicate the accuracy of screening CT, at this time. The benefit/risk balance for any of the commonly suggested CT screening techniques has yet to be established. These areas need further research. Therefore wild screening should be avoided.12/2013; 38(4). DOI:10.14407/jrp.2013.38.4.214
The Ulster medical journal 01/2014; 83(3):158-170.