Side discrepancy errors in radiology reports rare but often clinically significant

May 20, 2009

Side discrepancy errors in radiology reports do occur and it is important that radiologists, referring physicians and patients communicate well to help prevent errors in clinical management, according to a study performed at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. "Side discrepancy errors refer to instances when the side of the lesion is incorrectly noted in one or more sections of the radiology report," said Minal Jagtiani Sangwaiya, MD, lead author of the study.

The study included more than one million radiology reports. "88 side discrepancy errors were reported and 80% of those errors were rated as clinically important. The errors in mislabeling the side of the lesion were almost twice as frequent in female patients as in males. and radiography, followed by and ultrasound were the most commonly reported techniques with mislabeling of the side of the lesion in identified errors," said Dr. J. Sangwaiya. The errors noted in the study included those that had been corrected. The study does not account for unrecognized errors.

"While the incidence of side discrepancy errors is very small, most reports describing are self-reports or surveys and they almost certainly underestimate the incidence, perhaps by a factor of 20 or more," she said.

"Radiologists should check for side discrepancy errors and physicians should correlate the laterality of the radiological lesions with clinical complaints and images as well. Patients should also discuss their radiology findings with their physicians, especially in light of their presenting symptoms and clinical signs," said Dr. J. Sangwaiya.

More information: This study appears in the May issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Source: American Roentgen Ray Society

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.