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The problem of false positives on X-rays

On Behalf of | Nov 22, 2021 | medical malpractice |

False positives on X-rays, CT scans or any medical imaging procedure may subject Maryland patients to unnecessary risk or even death, including receiving treatment for non-existent illnesses based on faulty diagnostic work. Research has shown that false positives on X-rays and CT scans in the context of lung cancer screenings are much more common than previously realized.

What does the research in false positives in X-rays and CT scans say?

The results of work by a team of researchers found that CT scans produced a false positive rate of 21% after one screening and 33% after two screenings. Similarly, X-ray chest radiography produced a 9-15% false positive rate.

How were these statistics determined?

The researchers first allowed CT techs to analyze CT scans and X-rays, flagging those with the signs of lung cancer and resulting in a lung cancer diagnosis. Then, taking those cases, the researchers followed up with extensive blood work to determine if, in fact, these patients diagnosed with lung cancer actually had the disease. The false positive cases occurred in the instance of “a positive screening with a completed negative workup or 12 months or more of follow-up with no lung cancer diagnosis.”

What are the risks of false positives on x-rays?

False positives on X-rays and CT scans place patients at enormous risk of personal injury. Patients who receive these tests are exposed to treatments they might not need. Furthermore, other conditions might go undiagnosed. In some instances, victimized patients may qualify for compensation due to medical malpractice.

The high occurrence of false positives is just another reason to always seek a second or even third opinion in the medical sphere. Patients should always ask lots of questions while under the care of medical professionals to ensure the best possible treatment.



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