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Radiology. 2008 Jul;248(1):160-8. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2481071369. Epub 2008 May 15.

The use of CT for screening: a national survey of radiologists' activities and attitudes.

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  • 1Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.



To investigate the activities, motivations, and attitudes of radiologists regarding specific computed tomographic (CT) screening examinations by using a survey.


All study activities were approved by the institutional review board. A self-administered, mailed survey was used to collect data on the practices and attitudes of U.S. radiologists regarding three CT screening tests--coronary artery calcium scoring (CACS), lung cancer screening CT, and whole-body screening CT. The survey was sent to 1000 diagnostic radiologists who were randomly sampled from the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile.


A total of 398 (41.4%) of 961 eligible radiologists completed the survey. Among respondents, 33.6% reported reading CT screening studies, the most common being CACS (26.7%), followed by lung screening (19.2%) and whole-body screening (9.5%). Among respondents, 34.1% supported CACS and 29.9% supported lung CT screening for particular patients, while 1.9% supported whole-body CT screening. The most common reasons reported for reading CT screening studies were responses to requests from physicians (83.3%) or patients (75.0%), while fewer (40.8%) cited patient benefit from screening as a reason.


A substantial proportion of a nationally representative sample of radiologists in the United States reads CT screening studies of the heart, lungs, and whole body and holds favorable attitudes toward CACS and lung CT screening. These attitudes may allow for the premature diffusion of new screening tests into practice before higher-level evidence demonstrates their benefits for population mortality.

(c) RSNA, 2008.

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