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Web Letter

Item 6 warns, "Beware of the overuse of diagnostic imaging procedures such as MRIs and CAT scans. They add to costs and radiation exposure."

While radiation exposure due to CAT scans is a definite concern, the chief worry with MRI is the financial conflict of interest the next sentence of the article refers to. The item suggests that MRIs contribute to radiation exposure, which is at best technically defensible but extremely misleading. "Radiation exposure" is generally shorthand for exposure to ionizing radiation, such as X-rays and radioactive materials. MRI procedures do not expose patients to any form of ionizing radiation; indeed, that's one major advantage of MRI over CAT and a big part of why doctors feel no qualms about ordering unnecessary MRIs.

John Caraher

Crawfordsville, IN

Jan 25 2010 - 8:42pm

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