News | Radiology Business | January 12, 2017

Study Shows Imaging Diagnostic Error Rates Up to 43 Percent

MRI imaging referrals often based on cost, not quality, leading to errors

MRI, imaging diagnostic error rates, lower back, The Spine Journal, Hospital for Special Surgery study

January 12, 2017 — A new clinical study published Dec. 20, 2016, in The Spine Journal reveals significant variability in provider quality as well as imaging diagnostic error rates considerably higher than previously reported in the literature.1

In the study, conducted by the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and funded by Spreemo Health's Quality Research Institute (QRI), a single patient was sent for a lower-back magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan at 10 different imaging centers over a three-week period. Notably, not a single diagnostic finding — out of 49 distinct findings reported — was identified by all 10 participating centers.

"Diagnostic errors are a well-known problem within the radiological community," said primary author Richard Herzog, M.D., director of spinal imaging at HSS and executive director of Spreemo Health's QRI. "This study reveals the magnitude of that issue for the first time, clearly demonstrating the importance of diagnostic quality for patients and payers."

Peter J. Moley, M.D., assistant attending physiatrist at HSS and a coauthor of the study, noted that variability in the quality of MRI interpretation could yield profoundly different treatment recommendations for the very same patient. "For this patient, recommendations could range from physical therapy to surgery, which shows inter-provider variability is not just an academic problem," said Moley. "It has real-world consequences for patients: An incorrect diagnosis can lead to misdirected therapies, complications and increased disability. This study underscores the need for better standards of diagnostic quality."

For more information: www.thespinejournalonline.com

References

1. Herzog, R., Elgort, D.R., Flanders, A.E., Moley, P.J. "Variability in diagnostic error rates of 10 MRI centers performing lumbar spine MRI examinations on the same patient within a 3-week period," The Spine Journal. Published online Nov. 17, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2016.11.009

Related Content

Vaping Impairs Vascular Function

Image courtesy of the American Heart Association

News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | August 21, 2019
Inhaling a vaporized liquid solution through an e-cigarette, otherwise known as vaping, immediately impacts vascular...
Videos | Computed Tomography (CT) | August 21, 2019
This is a quick walk around of a mobile 32-slice...
Improved Imaging Technique Could Increase Chances of Prostate Cancer Survival
News | Prostate Cancer | August 20, 2019
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their...
Some Pregnant Women Are Exposed to Gadolinium in Early Pregnancy
News | Women's Health | August 20, 2019
A small but concerning number of women are exposed to a commonly used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent...
New MRI Technique Captures Brain Changes in Near-real Time

Differences in stiffness between stimulus states. Image courtesy of Patz et al.

News | Neuro Imaging | August 19, 2019
An international team of researchers developed a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique that can capture an...
ADHD Medication May Affect Brain Development in Children

Images of regions of interest (colored lines) in the white matter skeleton representation. Data from left and right anterior thalamic radiation (ATR) were averaged. Image courtesy of C. Bouziane et al.

News | Neuro Imaging | August 16, 2019
A drug used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appears to affect development of the brain’s...
Profound Medical Receives U.S. FDA 510(k) Clearance for Tulsa-Pro
Technology | Interventional Radiology | August 16, 2019
Profound Medical Corp. announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to...
First Patient Enrolled in World's Largest Brain Cancer Clinical Trial
News | Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019
Henry Ford Cancer Institute is first-in-the-world to enroll a glioblastoma patient in the GBM AGILE Trial (Adaptive...