TUESDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- A new study suggests that
eliminating the pelvis from areas of the lower body that are
scanned when looking for blood clots would not lessen the
effectiveness of the test but would significantly reduce the
exposure to radiation.
The imaging test, called CT venography, checks for a venous
thromboembolism, or a blood clot in the veins. Such clots usually
form in the legs. It's critical to locate and treat any clots
before they can migrate to the lungs, where they can be
But it does not truly aid the diagnosis to include the pelvis in
the scanning, according to the researchers, who were to present
their findings Tuesday in Chicago at the annual meeting of the
American Roentgen Ray Society.
The study involved an analysis of data on 1,527 people who were
examined for venous thromboembolism at the Nassau University
Medical Center in East Meadow, N.Y., during a three-year period. In
those exams, just five people -- 0.3 percent -- were found to have
isolated pelvic VTE, according to the study.
Dr. Charbel Ishak, the study's lead author, said that the
finding should help radiologists implement new protocols for pelvic
examinations that would reduce patients' exposure to radiation.
"Radiologists and technologists can eliminate pelvic imaging while acquiring only images of the lower extremities with CT venography, starting from groin to below the knee," he said in a news release from the society. "We believe that by stopping the imaging of the pelvis, we can decrease patient radiation dose without significantly affecting the diagnosis of VTE."
Experts note that research presented at a meeting should be
considered preliminary because it has not been subjected to the
rigorous scrutiny given to research published in medical
The Coalition to Prevent VTE has more about