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Radiologists are pointing out that it is difficult to accurately assess an obese patient's condition using imaging. The increasing rates of obesity mean that more and more people are unable to benefit from diagnosis using imaging. In 1989 0.1% of patients had limited quality of radiology reports due to obesity and this rose to 0.19% in 2003. Abdominal ultrasounds were the most limited by obesity (1.5%), followed by chest x-rays (0.08%) and abdominal computed tomography - CT scan - (0-.04%). Ultrasounds and x-rays both have difficulty penetrating lots of tissue in obese people. CT and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are limited by the total weight and size the equipment can actually hold. Patients up to 450 pounds can receive an accurate CT scan and an MRI can be done on patients up to 350 pounds.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Radiological Society of North America
About: Patient obesity can cause imaging results to lead to misdiagnosis or no diagnosis
Date: 1 December 2004
Source: Radiological Society of North America
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