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Medical News & Perspectives
January 14, 2009

GI Fluoroscopy Declining But Still Relevant

JAMA. 2009;301(2):149. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.957

Chicago—Improvements in imaging and treatments have caused a substantial decrease in the use of gastrointestinal (GI) fluoroscopy.

Data presented at the Radiological Society of North America's Scientific Assembly in December revealed that about 4.2 million GI fluoroscopy procedures were performed in the United States in 2006, a 22% decline from about 5.4 million performed in 2001. During that period, the number of barium enemas decreased 56%, upper GI studies declined 37%, and small bowel examinations fell 8%. During the same period, however, swallowing studies increased 12% and esophagograms increased 8% (DiSantis DJ. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2008;191[5]:1480-1482). The numbers of procedures were based on extrapolated Medicare data.

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