Tim Szczykutowicz’s Research on CT Shortage Published in JAMA

Posted on June 2022

Tim SzczykutowiczOver the last few months, the world has been affected by the global contrast shortage. Tim Szczykutowicz, PhD, along with collaborators Matthew Davenport, MD, Philip Chu, MS, and Rebecca Smith-Bindman, MD, have been busy researching a way to conserve iodinated intravascular contrast media. These findings were recently published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in the article titled, “Comparison of Strategies to Conserve Iodinated Intravascular Contrast Media for Computed Tomography During a Shortage.” 

The team examined data from a cohort of seven million patients to see how contrast was effectively distributed. Once the team understood how the contrast was used, they analyzed the best way to reduce the use of contrasts. The paper concluded, “Strategies to minimize patient harm include canceling or delaying tests that have little patient benefit or are not time sensitive. For indicated examinations, alternative tests with similar diagnostic accuracy could be considered.” 

Dr. Szczykutowicz said, “Our analysis unfortunately demonstrated the largest reductions in contrast were via denying contrast enhanced CT for some exam types. Locally within Madison and in cooperation with our community partners in south central Wisconsin, we have implemented similar strategies as described in this study. I’d say that our patients are being served as best as possible given the shortage, and I am proud to be part of the innovative engine that is UW and UW Health with radiologists, imaging administrators, CT technologists, and physicists working daily to figure out methods to conserve our supply of iodine contrast agent and figure out alternative imaging methods that don’t use as much or any iodine contrast.” 

You can read the full article in JAMA here: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2793384?resultClick=1