HEALTH: Diagnostic imaging details urgently desired

From: Michael M. Butler (
Date: Thu Jan 17 2002 - 17:45:00 MST

I recall a recent post from someone who had found $400 MRI scans in California. Clearly these are less invasive than CT.
But I gather that more modern high-speed scanning CT (e-beam with rotating target mirror, for one) does higher res
imaging, with less total dose than older CT, and that operators of older CT machines are cranking their doses *up* in
order to get somewhat better resolution (because of faster imaging==>less motion artifact) to try to compete with the
"snapshot" scanning units.

I'm particularly interested in detailed CNS, cardio, and "vulnerable plaque" work.

Does anyone know of a really good survey of the technologies, their weak and strong spots, and costs?
Is there a good and relatively unbiased source of information on "scans" that are now available on a cash and carry
basis? Are more exotic (pion, positron, ???) scans available a la carte?

I guess I'm looking for a Consumer Reports kind of matrix, with columns like (hypothetically):

TECH Resolution Detects Misses Rad dose: low typical high data format $
---- ---------- ------- ------ -------------------------- ----------- ---
www 2 mm^2 GI polyps, everything Siemens/session 3-12 SVHS videotape $300
(P** diverticuli, else
m 43) tumors, ulcers

xxx 0.2 mm^3 demyelination many tumors Siemens/session 10 fluoro polaroids $1000
                   arterial plaque aneurysms to $1400

yyy 0.5 mm^3 arterial plaque N/A (nonionizing) JPEGs on CD-ROMs $390
                  most tumors > 2 mm (10:1 lossy compression)

zzz 0.1-3 mm^3 bone abnormalities Siemens/picture 5 film radiographs $120
                                                                                               per pic

Thanks for any assistance,


butler a t comp - lib . o r g    Wm. Burroughs said it best: "After a shooting spree,
I am not here to have an argument.        they always want to take the guns away
I am here as part of a civilization.        from the people who didn't do it."

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