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Radiology Daily
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The Radiology Report – Part II

January 1, 2008
Written by: , Filed in: Practice Management
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Radiology reports should be focused on important information, not trivial, asymptomatic findings that tend to be distracting in the narration.
Stephen R. Baker, MD, Special Presentation for Practical Reviews in Radiology
This review is a continuation of a critical analysis of the radiology report. Some features of the radiology report detract from its effectiveness as a document that clearly delineates disease, while at the same time, it maintains the ethos of the radiologist as a knowledgeable consultant. Vagueness can appear in many guises in the radiology report, as well as excessive and unwarranted exactness, as in the ascription of the numerical percentage of a pneumothorax by making a linear measurement about a volumetric circumstance. Personification of anatomy and pathology is a common fallacy of expression attributing to each anthropomorphic subjective quality. The passive voice is almost unavoidable in radiology reports. Yet, sole reliance on it produces boring communication. The chief stylistic manifestation of this problem is over-reliance on the word “there.” Reports should be focused on important information, not trivial, asymptomatic findings that tend to be distracting in the narration. For ICU patients, reference to all previous images, not just yesterday’s films, is important as is a statement about the location of all lines and tubes. Densities and lucencies need accurate description. Therefore, a morphologic classification of abdominal calcification is included. Lastly, demographic information must be apt, germane, and humanistic.

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