Radiologists, primary users of non-cardiac ultrasound

Although non-radiologist physicians have contributed to the widespread use of point-of-care (POC) ultrasound, radiologists remain the primary users, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology. POC ultrasound is defined as an ultrasound performed (and interpreted) by the clinician at the bedside.

A recent paper in the by Moore and Copel indicated that miniaturization and a drop in costs have facilitated the growth of non-cardiac POC by and that the concept of an "ultrasound " is rapidly moving from the theoretical to a reality.

"The commentary by Moore and Copel raises the question of how widespread the use of non-cardiac ultrasound has become among non-radiologist physicians and how quickly such use is growing with the advent of hand-carried ultrasound devices. We used a nationwide database to investigate these questions," said David C. Levin, MD, lead author of the study.

To determine the rate of utilization of non-cardiac ultrasound by and other specialists, researchers at Thomas Jefferson University looked at Medicare Part B databases for 2004 to 2009. Between 2004 and 2009, there was a 21 percent increase in the overall utilization rate of non-cardiac ultrasound. POC ultrasound by non-radiologists amounted to 41 percent of all studies done in 2009, while radiologists performed 55 percent. Multiple non-radiologic specialties are involved, but radiologists' involvement is far higher than any other single specialty.

"The role of radiologists in non-cardiac ultrasound remains quite strong; however progressive miniaturization of ultrasound equipment may change that. As a result, utilization trends will require further watching and additional research in the coming years," said Levin.

More information: www.jacr.org/

Provided by American College of Radiology

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bedside ultrasound becomes a reality

Feb 23, 2011

Clinicians have often referred to ultrasound technology as the "stethoscope of the future," predicting that as the equipment shrinks in size, it will one day be as common at the bedside as that trusty tool around every physician's ...

3-D doppler ultrasound helps identify breast cancer

Oct 21, 2008

Three-dimensional (3-D) power Doppler ultrasound helps radiologists distinguish between malignant and benign breast masses, according to a new study being published in the November issue of Radiology.

Recommended for you

Cancer: Tumors absorb sugar for mobility

1 hour ago

Cancer cells are gluttons. We have long known that they monopolize large amounts of sugar. More recently, it became clear that some tumor cells are also characterized by a series of features such as mobility or unlikeliness ...

Early hormone therapy may be safe for women's hearts

10 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Healthy women at low risk of cardiovascular disease may be able to take hormone replacement therapy soon after menopause for a short time without harming their hearts, according to a new study.

Low yield for repeat colonoscopy in some patients

11 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Repeat colonoscopies within 10 years are of little benefit to patients who had no polyps found on adequate examination; however, repeat colonoscopies do benefit patients when the baseline examination was compromised, ...

Cell's recycling center implicated in division decisions

13 hours ago

Most cells do not divide unless there is enough oxygen present to support their offspring, but certain cancer cells and other cell types circumvent this rule. Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have now identified ...

User comments