Popular heart test questioned

By David Kohn | Sun Reporter

Critics see CT risks, with profits trumping science

Computed tomography angiography is booming. In 10 painless minutes, this noninvasive test provides a detailed, colorful three-dimensional view of a patient's heart. Many specialists say the CT procedure is more accurate and precise than other heart tests.

Exact figures aren't available, but some experts think Americans undergo several hundred thousand CT angiographies a year, perhaps more than a million.

"It's a very easy test to do," says Dr. Michael Lauer, a heart researcher at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The test is "proliferating," he says.

source article at baltimoresun.com

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