ISSN: 1899-0967
Polish Journal of Radiology
Established by prof. Zygmunt Grudziński in 1926 Sun
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1/2022
vol. 87
 
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Musculoskeletal radiology
abstract:
Original paper

Analysis of the appropriateness of orthopaedic computed tomography scans as exemplified by lower extremity bones and joints

Tomasz Latos
1
,
Paweł Sztwiertnia
1
,
Wojciech Wierzchołowski
2
,
Jerzy Michał Walecki
1

1.
Department of Radiology, Medical Centre for Postgraduate Education, Warsaw, Poland
2.
Department of Radiology, Medical College, University of Zielona Góra, Zielona Góra, Poland
Pol J Radiol 2022; 87: e69-e78
Online publish date: 2022/02/07
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Purpose
The objective of this study is to analyse the appropriateness of lower extremity coputed tomography (CT) scans as performed in a large orthopaedic hospital.

Material and methods
A total of 1410 CT scans acquired in the years 2014-2018 were analysed for compliance with the “Guidelines for Physicians Issuing Diagnostic Imaging Referrals” (iRefer). These guidelines were published by the Royal Radiologist Society and recommended for use by the Polish Medical Society of Radiology, the National Consultant for Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging, and the Minister of Health. In addition, the study involved the analysis of information provided on CT referrals by referring clinicians.

Results
Nearly 21% of CT referrals were found to be unsubstantiated based on the diagnosis made by the referring physician, the body region of interest, and the clinical department. Most referrals identified as non-compliant with the guidelines were related to cancers followed by inflammatory conditions. The lowest number of unjustified exams was reported for endoprostheses and injury-related cases.

Conclusions
The study revealed a significant degree of non-compliance with the diagnostic algorithm as defined in the iRefer guidelines, particularly in cases of cancers and inflammatory conditions. Consequently, the patient’s exposure to ionizing radiation is increased. Incorrect decisions regarding the appropriate diagnostic imaging technique are founded on the lack of appropriate cooperation between the clinician and the radiologist, insufficiency or lack of information provided on the referral, as well as the defensive attitude of referring physicians. It is therefore necessary to change appropriate in-hospital management and cooperation models.

keywords:

computed tomography, orthopaedics, ionizing radiation, defensive medicine, iRefer




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