Choosing Wisely:

For a patient with functional abdominal pain syndrome, CT scans should not be repeated unless there is a major change in clinical findings or symptoms.

Rationale and Comments: There is a small, but measurable increase in one’s cancer risk from x-ray exposure. An abdominal CT scan is one of the higher radiation exposure x-rays — equivalent to three years of natural background radiation. Due to this risk and the high costs of this procedure, CT scans should be performed only when they are likely to provide useful information that changes patient management.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American Gastroenterological Association
  • Sources:
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Disciplines:
  • Gastroenterologic
  • References: • Drossman DA, et al. Rome III: The Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. 3rd ed. 2006.
    • Clouse RE, et al. Functional abdominal pain syndrome. Gastroenterology. 2006;130(5):1492-7.
    • U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Reducing radiation from medical x-rays. February 19, 2009. ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm095505.htm.
    • Image Wisely, U.S. Food and Drug Administration. My medical imaging history. safety/ImageWisely/7678_Medical%20Imaging%20History.pdf.

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