Of course, I kid. CT will never replace X-ray…well, maybe not for everything, but in screening, it’s becoming more popular. But you have to admit, there are a lot more scanners, and a lot lower of a threshold to do a CT than there was even 10 years ago. This study from the New England Journal of Medicine looks at the use of low dose CT scanning as a screening tool.
Despite the percentage of positives that were false (96.4% – with a similar number in the plain X-ray group), the relative mortality reduction was 20% – a pretty significant number (both clinically and statistically).
Depending on your centre, a lot of lung cancer patients are followed up with CT rather than X-ray – but it’s a new (and controversial) option for initial screening. One has to wonder about the long term effects, and the 10 year results of this study will be something to watch out for.
Read it while it’s hot, here.
IMAGE Joel A. Funk Jr.