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C-T Scans
May 17, 2001

I have heard that there are companies offering whole-body C-T scans in malls where the results are intimated to offer one the feeling he is in perfect health when the results are all negative. Would appreciate your comments on the above and your thoughts about the damaging effects of C-T scans given for any reasons. Thank you

Response from Dr. Young

The use of whole body rapid CT scans to look for disease in asymptomatic persons is controversial; it has been suggested that the detection of coronary calcium plaques may predate cardiac disease, prompting a more aggressive clinical managment approach. We have used cardiac CT scans to provide risk assessment for HIV infected persons with some degree of hyperlipidemia. If plaques are detected, we are much more apt to use pharmacologic interventions for managment of cholesterol levels. Such evaluation of the diagnostic value in looking at other anatomic sites has not been fully assessed.

CT scans, in general, have very little down side. However, one should not completely forget that CTs do expose the body to some degree of radiation.

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