Neuroimaging for stroke patients may be unnecessarily costly and redundant

News-Medical: March 6, 2012 at 3:17 AM.

U-M researchers found that most patients underwent both MRIs and CTs; neuroimaging biggest source of escalating stroke care costs

Neuroimaging for stroke patients may be unnecessarily costly and redundant, contributing to rising costs nationwide for stroke care, according to University of Michigan research.

The research, published in the Annals of Neurology, found that 95 percent of stroke patients who received magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) also had a computed tomography (CT) scan.

“Compared to CT, MRI is a more accurate test for stroke,” says James F. Burke, M.D., lead author of the study and a clinical lecturer in the University of Michigan Medical School’s Department of Neurology. “But our results showed that MRI is not replacing CT as the primary stroke neuroimaging study – instead, patients are getting both.

“Minimizing the use of multiple studies could be a viable strategy to reduce costs.” Read More