Malpractice News

April 23, 2013

Stomach CT scans helping to diagnose osteoporosis

A new study says researchers have found stomach CT scans are proving to be useful in diagnosing people with osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone-weakening disease that affects women in particular and is associated with loss of bone mass as people age.

DXA is normal diagnostic tool

The findings of this new study were published in the April issue of The Annals of Internal Medicine. Normally, the research said that doctors use dual-energy X-ray absporptiometry (DXA) to diagnose osteoporosis. Stomach CT scans, on the other hand, are usually ordered to diagnose tumors, but if doctors use them to simultaneously check for osteoporosis, they could save their patients extra time, money, and testing.

Recommended testing for osteoporosis is age 65

The study included data from 1,867 patients whose average age was 59. The U.S. Preventive Service recommends people be screened for osteoporosis no later than age 65. The disease is very pervasive, affecting “over 12 million Americans over 50.

DXA vs. CT

The jury is still out on whether CT scans should be considered a replacement for DXA scans. CT scans are considered better tests, according to Dr. Sumit Majumador, but they don’t include the hip; DXA does include the hip. Both involve the use of radiation and the CT scan is slightly more expensive. Some doctors argue that even with a diagnosis of osteoporosis using a CT scan, they would still recommend further testing using the DXA method.

Dr. Beatrice Hull, from the Center for Osteoporosis and Bone Health, said, “I don’t think at this point this one test is going to prevent further testing. I think it will identify patients who are at a higher risk and need more testing.”


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