Objectives To describe the proportion of transvaginal ultrasounds performed in a University Hospital of Buenos Aires (Argentina), requested upon a health check.
Method Cross-sectional study of a random sample of 1997 ultrasound scans performed on an outpatient basis during 2017 and 2018 on 1954 adult women (average age 50 years). By manual review of the medical records, each ultrasound was classified as ‘appropriate’ (some clinical problem justified its performance) or ‘inappropriately’ requested (health check).
Results 1,345 ultrasound scans (67.4%; CI 95%: 65.2 to 69.4) had been requested upon a health check or without a problem documented in the medical history to support its performance, and another 54 (8.3%; CI95%: 6.3 to 10.7), due to health conditions for which there are no recommendations to carry them out.
Conclusions More than 70% of the transvaginal ultrasounds performed in our institution do not have bibliographic support to be requested. Future research will allow us to understand the reasons that drive the overuse of this practice and will help to design interventions to reduce this low-value care.
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