Ultrasound as effective as CT scans in most casesMay 12th, 2011 - 6:20 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, May 12 (IANS) CT scans confer no clinical advantage over a simple, low-cost ultrasound procedure, says a new study.
Michael Vaiman of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine compared the efficacy of CT versus ultrasound scans for locating vertebral arteries in the throat, required before a neck surgery.
His findings follow warnings from international health organisations about the dangers of overexposure to CT-related radiation, the journal European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, reports.
Some medical experts caution that patients are exposed to too many CT scans, and the results could be harmful to their health. Excessive radiation can itself lead to cancerous growths, for example, according to a Tel Aviv statement.
After comparing the outcomes of 250 CT scans with 500 ultrasound images, Vaiman concluded that there is no advantage to using CT scans for most of these procedures, especially those that are used to locate anomalies in the neck to map major arteries before surgery can take place.
CT scans combine X-rays with highly sophisticated computers to produce a number of pictures of the interior of the body.
Traditionally, doctors have relied on these scans to find neck arteries and assess neck tumours, enlarged lympatic nodules, diseases of the salivary glands, different kinds of bronchial cysts, or the development of thyroid cancer.
Although ultrasound is not the investigation of choice for every neck pathology, it is adequate for diagnosis and assessment of treatment options for most of these conditions.
Ultrasound can not only locate a lesion, it can provide information about its size, consistency and relation to other organs, as well as other features.
“I would especially recommend ultrasound when children are investigated. There are some tumours that do require CT or MRI investigation, but these cases are rare. When in doubt, and high-resolution imaging is necessary, I would suggest a low-radiating MRI,” concludes Vaiman.
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Tags: cancerous growths, clinical advantage, diseases of the salivary glands, excessive radiation, faculty of medicine, health organisations, high resolution imaging, laryngology, major arteries, neck arteries, neck pathology, sackler faculty, sophisticated computers, tel aviv university, thyroid cancer, ultrasound images, ultrasound procedure, ultrasound scans, vertebral arteries, x rays