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01/25/2019

JAMA opinion piece slams our addiction to ‘unnecessary’ MRIs, CT scans

External Link - Source: The Washington Post

When the Food and Drug Administration approved magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners in 1984, the machines seemed incredible. They offered an inside view of the human body, making it easier to diagnose disease, injuries and physical abnormalities. Today, they’re part of a multibillion-dollar industry: In 2016, 118 out of every 1,000 Americans got an MRI. The use of CT scans was even higher: 245 per 1,000 people in 2016.

But was all of that testing actually necessary?

No way, say physicians from the Mayo Clinic and Stanford University. In a viewpoint article in JAMA, they argue that it’s time to put the brakes on unnecessary and wasted diagnostic imaging.

“There is virtually no evidence that screening of this kind improves overall population health,” write Ohad Oren, Electron Kebebew and John P.A. Ioannidis. But, they admit, it will take a lot to wean Americans off their addiction to medical imaging.

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