The Role of Imaging in Health Screening: Overview, Rationale of Screening, and Screening Economics

David H. Ballard, Kirsteen R. Burton, Nikita Lakomkin, Shannon Kim, Prabhakar Rajiah, Midhir J. Patel, Parisa Mazaheri, Gary J. Whitman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Imaging screening examinations are growing in their indications and volume to identify conditions at an early, treatable stage. The Radiology Research Alliance's ‘Role of Imaging in Health Screening’ Task Force provides a review of imaging-based screening rationale, economics, and describes established guidelines by various organizations. Various imaging modalities can be employed in screening, and are often chosen based on the specific pathology and patient characteristics. Prevalent disease processes with identifiable progression patterns that benefit from early potentially curative interventions are ideal for screening. Two such examples include colonic precancerous polyp progression to adenocarcinoma in colon cancer formation and atypical ductal hyperplasia progression to ductal carcinoma in situ and invasive ductal carcinoma in breast cancer. Economic factors in imaging-based screening are reviewed, including in the context of value-based reimbursements. Global differences in screening are outlined, along with the role of various organizational guidelines, including the American Cancer Society, the US Preventive Services Task Force, and the American College of Radiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-547
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Healthcare economics
  • Imaging screening
  • Lead time bias
  • Length time bias
  • Population screening
  • Radiology screening
  • Screening economics


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