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Weighing the costs of a CT scan’s look inside the heart

New York Times, June 30, 2008

Increasing use of CT scans, formally known as CT angiograms, is part of a larger trend in American medicine. Faith in innovation, often driven by financial incentives, encourages American doctors and hospitals to adopt new technologies even without proof that they work better than older techniques. The story of the CT angiogram is a reminder of how difficult it is to rein in a new technology long enough to determine whether its benefits are worth its costs.