Studies question use of CAT scans for heart attacks - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Studies question use of CAT scans for heart attacks

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Doctors who use CAT scans to diagnose heart attacks may begin to rethink that practice.  Two recent studies found the scans more costly than beneficial.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine last month found no evidence the CAT scans detected more heart attacks.

And a recent study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology revealed about 500,000 of the tests are performed a year.

That study also found misuse of the scans dropped by 60 percent when doctors understood better when to use them.

"This is huge because its a radiation based test and people are exposed to a lot of radiation and risk of cancer goes up with one scan" said Kavitha Chinnaiyan,  Beaumont Health System cardiologist.

Researchers encourage people to ask their doctors about the risks before undergoing the scans.

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