Previous studies have looked at smaller groups of patients and found comparable effectiveness with low-dose CT for diagnosing appendicitis.
There are some groups, such as obese people, for whom doctors would probably need to use a relatively higher dose of radiation, Paulson said. The new study involved patients who were thinner on average than in the United States and did not determine if differences existed in effectiveness of low-dose CT in heavier patients.
In general, Paulson and his colleagues at Duke have already been dialing back the radiation dose for CT and seeing the same accuracy for diagnoses of different conditions, he added.
"I think most practices, across the board for all kinds of diseases, could drop the radiation dose by 20 to 30 percent and diagnostic efficacy would be the same," Paulson said.
To learn more about radiation from CT scanning, visit RadiologyInfo.org.
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