Trends in diagnostic CT among fee-for-service enrollees, 2000-2011

Ghassan B. Hamra, Richard C. Semelka, Lauren M.B. Burke, Virginia Pate, M. Alan Brookhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objectives To examine trends in the use of diagnostic CT in aggregate and for 4 major body regions (abdomen/pelvis, head/neck, chest, and spine) in an 11-year US nationwide analysis. Methods We summarize records from a large, mostly fee-for-service insurance claims database from 2000 to 2011. Results Rates of diagnostic CT have increased substantially from 2000 to 2011; however, changes in rates are disparate for different age groups and body regions. As others have shown, there has been a notable increase in use of diagnostic CT from 2000 to 2011. However, from 2009 to 2011, diagnostic CT studies of the chest, abdomen/pelvis, and head/neck have leveled off or decreased, whereas CTs of the spine show a continued increase in many groups. Conclusions In general, the increase in the rate of CT study performance has slowed, whereas spine CT continued to escalate. Future research should consider whether the increase in use of spine CT leads to a benefit that outweighs the risk associated with the increased population-level cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-130
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • CT
  • diagnostic radiology
  • radiation exposure
  • trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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