Surge in CT, MRI scans has not boosted diagnosis rates

Scientific American, October 6, 2010

As medical imaging technology has increased in sophistication and accessibility over the past decade, it is little wonder that the number of scans has also been on the rise.

Conflicting reports have emerged about whether these additional tests are having a commensurate impact on diagnosis—and cure—rates. In fact, a new study shows that for life-threatening injuries, a threefold increase in the number of computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in emergency rooms has not resulted in an improvement in useful diagnosis.

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