Clinical consequences of misinterpretations of neuroradiologic CT scans by on-call radiology residents.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Studies have looked at the accuracy of radiologic interpretations by radiology residents as compared with staff radiologists with regard to emergency room plain films, emergency room body CT scans, and trauma head CT scans; however, to our knowledge, no study has evaluated on-call resident interpretations of all types of neuroradiologic CT scans. Both as a part of our departmental quality control program and to address concerns of clinical services about misinterpretation of neuroradiologic CT scans by on-call radiology residents, we evaluated the frequency of incorrect preliminary interpretations of neuroradiologic CT scans by on-call radiology residents and the effect of such misinterpretations on clinical management and patient outcome. METHODS: As determined by the staff neuroradiologist the next day, all potentially clinically significant changes to preliminary reports of emergency neuroradiologic CT scans rendered by on-call radiology residents were recorded over a 9-month period. A panel of neuroradiologists reviewed and graded all the changed cases by consensus. An emergency department staff physician reviewed medical records of all submitted cases to determine clinical consequences of the misinterpretations. RESULTS: Significant misinterpretations were made in 21 (0.9%) of 2388 cases during the study period. There was a significant change in patient management in 12 of the cases, with a potentially serious change in patient outcome in two cases (0.08%). CONCLUSION: On-call radiology residents have a low rate of significant misinterpretations of neuroradiologic CT scans, and the potential to affect patient outcome is rare. (+info)
Clinical input into designing a PACS.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate clinical attitudes and expectations in the implementation of a neuroradiology picture archiving and communication system (PACS). A 1-page survey of expectations and clinical attitudes toward a neuroradiology mini-PACS was distributed to 49 full-time faculty members in the departments of neurosurgery, neurology, and otorhinolaryngology at an academic center. Interest in viewing soft-copy images was moderate to very high for over 89% of clinicians. All clinicians were comfortable with phone consultations with radiologists while viewing soft-copy images. Clinicians preferred retrieving images from personal computers over workstations and film libraries by 72.9%, 27.1%, and 0%, respectively. However, 38.5% of surgeons felt the need for hard copy in the operating room. Clinicians estimated that in 18.3% of cases, patients took their in-house films to outside institutions for consultations. Clinicians were enthusiastic about implementing PACS. Although acceptance of soft-copy viewing among clinicians is high, some provision for supplying hard-copy images appears to be necessary. (+info)
An evaluation of JPEG and JPEG 2000 irreversible compression algorithms applied to neurologic computed tomography and magnetic resonance images. Joint Photographic Experts Group.
We performed visual comparison of 200 head magnetic resonance (MR) and 200 head computed tomography (CT) images compressed at two levels using standard Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) irreversible compression and a preliminary version of the JPEG 2000 irreversible algorithm. Blinded evaluations by neuroradiologists compared original versus either JPEG or JPEG 2000. We found that this version of JPEG 2000 did not perform as well as the current JPEG for head CTs, but for MR images, JPEG 2000 performed as well or better. Around 7:1 compression ratio seemed to be a conservative point where there was no perceptible difference. (+info)
Program requirements for residency/fellowship education in neuroendovascular surgery/interventional neuroradiology: a special report on graduate medical education.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Neuroendovascular surgery/interventional neuroradiology is a relatively new subspecialty that has been evolving since the mid-1970s. During the past 2 decades, significant advances have been made in this field of minimally invasive therapy for the treatment of intracranial cerebral aneurysms; acute stroke therapy intervention; cerebral arteriovenous malformations; carotid cavernous sinus fistulas; head, neck, and spinal cord vascular lesions; and other complex cerebrovascular diseases. Advanced postresidency fellowship programs have now been established in North America, Europe, and Japan, specifically for training in this new subspecialty. METHODS: From 1986 to the present, an ad hoc committee of senior executive committee members from the American Society of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology, the Joint Section of Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery, and the American Society of Neuroradiology met to establish, by consensus, general guidelines for training physicians in this field. RESULTS: In April 1999, the Executive Committee of the Joint Section of Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery voted unanimously to endorse these training standard guidelines. In May 1999, the Executive Committee of the American Society of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology and the American Society of Neuroradiology also unanimously voted to endorse these guidelines. In June 1999, the Executive Council of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons unanimously voted to endorse these guidelines. CONCLUSION: The following guidelines for residency/fellowship education have now been endorsed by the parent organization of both the interventional and diagnostic neuroradiology community, as well as both senior organizations representing neurosurgery in North America. These guidelines for training should be used as a reference and guide to any institution establishing a training program in neuroendovascular surgery/interventional neuroradiology. (+info)
Use of the Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score (ASPECTS) for assessing CT scans in patients with acute stroke.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Clinicians are insecure reading CT scans by using the one-third rule for acute middle cerebral artery stroke (1/3 MCA rule) before treating patients with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator. The 1/3 MCA rule is a poorly defined volumetric estimate of the size of cerebral infarction of the MCA. A 10-point quantitative topographic CT scan score, the Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score (ASPECTS), is described and illustrated. A sharp increase in dependence and death occurs with an ASPECTS of 7 or less. We describe how to use ASPECTS and why it works with CT scans obtained on all commonly used axial baselines. We also describe interobserver reliability among clinicians from different specialties and with different experience in reading CT scans in the context of acute stroke. METHODS: The six physicians who developed ASPECTS answered a questionnaire on precisely how they interpret and use ASPECTS. The ASPECTS areas as interpreted by these physicians were compared with one another and with standards in the literature. kappa statistics were used to assess the interobserver reliability of ASPECTS versus the 1/3 MCA rule. RESULTS: The exact methods of interpretation varied among the six individual observers, with either a 3:3 or 4:2 split on the specific questions. The overall interobserver agreement was good compared with that of the 1/3 MCA rule. Normal anatomic vascular and interobserver variations explain why ASPECTS can be applied with different CT axial baselines. CONCLUSION: ASPECTS is a systematic, robust, and practical method that can be applied to different axial baselines. Clinician agreement is superior to that of the 1/3 MCA rule. (+info)
Fellowship and practice trends in neuroradiology training programs in the United States.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Neuroradiology has become an increasingly diverse and subspecialized discipline. We evaluated the current status and trends affecting fellowship programs and the practice of clinical neuroradiology at academic medical centers, with emphasis on invasive procedures. METHODS: All 85 program directors at Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-approved fellowships in neuroradiology were sent a detailed questionnaire pertaining to various demographic aspects of their program and the performance of certain radiologic examinations of the brain and spine. RESULTS: Sixty-seven programs (79%) responded. As many as 50% of programs are 1 year in length. Twenty-five percent of 2-year fellows leave their program after 1 year of training. During the past 5 years, 36% of programs have decreased in size and 73% reported a decline in the number of applicants. The majority (55%) of programs have had applicants renege on their commitment to begin a fellowship. Twenty percent of 2-year programs do not offer training in endovascular interventional procedures. Neurosurgeons perform endovascular interventional procedures at 18% of centers. There is an 18-fold variation in the volume of neuroangiographic procedures performed each year and a 150-fold variation in the volume of myelographic procedures performed. In 29% of programs, neuroradiologists are nonparticipants in nonvascular interventional spinal procedures; in 40%, they share these procedures with musculoskeletal radiologists/nonradiologists. CONCLUSION: Interest in fellowship programs in neuroradiology is declining. An applicant's commitment to either begin a fellowship or complete 2 years of training cannot be regarded with assurance, and there is a lack of uniformity in many areas of the training experience, particularly in invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. (+info)
Use of abciximab for mediation of thromboembolic complications of endovascular therapy.
We describe four cases in which abciximab was used as a thrombolytic rescue agent in the setting of thrombotic events complicating interventional neuroradiologic procedures. After IV administration of abciximab, the thrombus resolved within 30 min in three cases, whereas no thrombolysis occurred in the fourth case despite the addition of intraarterial tissue plasminogen activator. Further evaluation of glycoprotein IIb-IIIa inhibitors in patients with cerebral thromboembolic events is necessary to prove clinical efficacy. (+info)
Disease specific intelligent pre-fetch and hanging protocol for diagnostic neuroradiology workstations.
Clinical data sets for neuroradiological cases can be quite large. A typical brain tumor patient at UCLA will undergo 8-10 separate studies over a 2 year period, each study will produce 60-100 magnetic resonance (MR) images. Gathering and sorting through a patient s imaging events during the course of treatment can be both overwhelming and time consuming. The purpose of this research is to develop an intelligent pre-fetch and hanging protocol that automatically gathers the relevant prior examinations from a picture archiving, and communication systems (PACS) archive and sends the pertinent historical images to the diagnostic display station where the new examination is subsequently read out. The intelligent hanging protocol describes the type of layout and sequence for image display. We have developed a classification scheme to organize the pertinent patient information to selectively pre-fetch and intelligently present the images to review brain tumor cases for a diagnostic neuroradiology workstation. (+info)