Questions about the overuse and true necessity of CT (AKA CAT scan) reflect a growing awareness of the potential pitfalls of diagnostic imaging, which in the past two decades has exploded into a $100 billion a year business. X-rays, CT and PET all use ionizing radiation, which can cause cancer. MRI, common in the workers’ comp space, does not use radiation. The prevalence of the tests has become a concern among experts, some of whom warn that the exposure to radiation should be limited and the increase in utilization contributes to the country’s health care spending problem. The FDA estimates that 30-50 percent of imaging tests are medically unnecessary.
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