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GI screening: Racing time or wasting time?

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 22, 2007) Preventative medicine and technology are some of the great benefits in this ever-changing age of health care technology. Operations that once required major surgery and in-patient stays are being replaced with minimally invasive procedures with quick recovery times. Among these preventative technologies include CT scans, colonoscopies and X-rays. But with all of these available options in detecting abnormalities in patients, how does one choose which test to perform and whether it is worth the time to test on fast-acting ailments" Research presented today at Digestive Disease Week 2007 (DDW) provides guidance as to which tests are best for which patients. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

"The findings from these studies direct doctors as to what measures are most effective in treating their patients," said Gregory Ginsberg, M.D., AGAF, University of Pennsylvania Health System. "Whether the patient's condition is acute or chronic, detection and time are crucial factors in patient outcome."

Computed Tomography in Diagnosis of Acute Appendicitis: Definite or Detrimental" (Abstract #625)

It can be difficult to assess whether a patient is experiencing acute appendicitis or has an intestinal upset. CT, or computed tomography, scans can help determine if the patient needs to have his or her appendix removed. However, while having a clear picture showing the appendix confirms patient and physician suspicions, the time required to conduct the scan delays time to a potential operation, with the risk that the appendix could perforate while the patient awaits the test results. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. evaluated the differences between patients who received a CT scan before removal of their appendix and those who went directly to surgery
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Contact: Aimee Frank
AFrank@gastro.org
301-941-2620
American Gastroenterological Association
22-May-2007


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