June 28, 2008

Doctors: Some CT Scans May Not Be Needed

Some people are undergoing computed tomography scans who don't need the tests, doctors in San Francisco say.

Dr. Rita Redberg, a cardiologist at the University of California-San Francisco, said some medical officials continue to use CT heart scans on individuals who have not had any chest pains, The New York Times reported Saturday.

No data suggests that there's any reason for anyone asymptomatic to have a test, Redberg said. There certainly is this idea that having a test can help you prevent a heart attack, and I don't know where it came from.

Such potential abuse of the advanced imaging equipment was what stopped Dr. Andrew Rosenblatt from purchasing a CT scanner for his San Francisco heart clinic, the Times reported.

If you have ownership of the machine, he told the newspaper, you're going to want to utilize the machine.

The Times said added to the medical dilemma is the popularity of CT scans thanks to countless advertisements and support from celebrities such as TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey.