Radiologists' recommendations for followup imaging generated only 5.3 percent of chest and abdominal CT, brain and lumbar spine MRI and body PET exams, according to research performed at Mass General.
Radiologists rarely guilty of placing high-cost followup orders
Followup imaging recommended by radiologists accounts for 5.3 percent of high-cost imaging studies, according to a study published online Nov. 15 in Radiology. Susanna I. Lee, MD, PhD, and colleagues designed the study to determine the proportion of imaging exams generated by radiologists' recommendations for followup imaging and to identify the imaging findings resulting in followup recommendations. The need to use chest CT to assess pulmonary nodules found on chest X-rays accounted for 35.9 percent of followup exams. The authors also noted that negative results, often due to improper exam selection by the referring physician, spurred many followup exams.