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CT scans find tiny bladder, kidney & urinary cancers

CHICAGO A single 15-minute CT scan may be all it takes to find tiny cancers, stones and other problems in the kidneys, bladders and urinary tracts of high-risk patients -- potentially saving them from many additional tests, and from delayed detection and treatment. And the detailed imaging scan can be done using modern CT (computed tomography) machines now found in many large hospitals.

That's the message that University of Michigan Health System radiologists will give this week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, where they will present new findings on multi-detector CT urography, or MDCTU.

As one of the most experienced MDCTU teams in the nation, with more than 1,000 patients scanned, they hope to show colleagues from around the nation that the technique is extremely sensitive, very accurate and relatively easy to adopt.

At the meeting, U-M radiologists Elaine Caoili, M.D., and Richard H. Cohan, M.D., will showcase their findings that MDCTU can find numerous problems in the tiny vessels of the body's urine collection system, as well as detecting bladder cancer, kidney and bladder stones, and kidney cysts and cancers.

And, they will show how MDCTU may be a better and far more accurate option for high-risk patients than the traditional 30-minute X-ray exam that is often done on patients with symptoms such as blood in their urine or problems with urination.

That exam, known as intravenous pyelogram (IVP) or intravenous urography (IVU), finds the cause of symptoms less than 50 percent of the time. And IVP's high false-positive and false-negative rates often mean that high-risk patients either endure a series of tests and scans before getting a firm diagnosis, or get a false sense of security from a mistakenly "clean" report and only get diagnosed much later.

"Our experience to date with MDCTU in patients with prior bladder and urinary tract cancer has convinced us that it is as good as
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Contact: Kara Gavin
kegavin@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
30-Nov-2003


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