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Professional Radiology and Outpatient Imaging Services

Full Body MRIs: A Board-Certified Radiologist’s Opinion

| Doctors, News

Diagnostic imaging is a core service of Midwest Radiology, so we pay attention to scanning services that offer alternative ways to screen for diseases and abnormalities in the body. Recently, full-body scans have been in the news, largely because of claims that they can detect a variety of conditions before they would otherwise present themselves clinically. A whole-body scan can cost several thousand dollars—and is not covered by health insurance.

Minneapolis TV station KARE11 recently did a story about the concerns about full-body scans-expressed by the American College of Radiology and Board-certified radiologists, including MWR’s own Dr. Benjamin Meyer.

“Full-body scans are expensive and can cause unnecessary anxiety in people without serious issues. They can lead to unnecessary testing, unnecessary procedures, and unnecessary surgeries,” Dr. Meyer said. “I would encourage people to follow the advice of their primary care physicians about what screenings are appropriate. We use targeted screening and know how to interpret the results accurately.”

The American College of Radiology concurs, saying that unless patients are at high genetic risk, full-body scans are unlikely to find anything significant.

“Every individual’s body has quirks and abnormalities that will never cause problems,” Meyer adds. “Unless you have one of several rare genetic conditions, full body MRI screening is not recommended.”