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APPROACHES TO INSPECTING COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHIC AND MAGNETIC RESONANCE STUDIES

Authors

  • Christopher R. Lamb,

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Clinical Sciences and Services, The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, North Mymms, Hertfordshire, U.K.
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  • Vicki H.M. Dale

    1. LIVE Centre for Excellence in Lifelong and Independent Veterinary Education, The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, North Mymms, Hertfordshire, U.K.
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  • Vicki Dale's current address is E-Learning Environments, Information Services Division, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, U.K.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to C. R. Lamb, at the above address. E-mail: clamb@rvc.ac.uk

Abstract

There is a need to better understand how to optimally inspect large image datasets. The aim of the present study was to complement experimental studies of visual perception by using an online questionnaire to collect opinions of practicing veterinary radiologists about the approaches they use when inspecting clinical computed X-ray tomography (CT) and/or magnetic resonance (MR) studies, and to test associations between radiologist's approaches and their training, experience, or caseload. Questionnaires were received from 90/454 (20%) American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR) Diplomates and 58/156 (37%) European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging (ECVDI) Diplomates, providing 139 complete responses for CT studies and 116 for MR. Questionnaire responses differed for the following variables: specialty college, years since Board Certification, CT and MR caseload, and type of practice. ACVR Diplomates more frequently inspected multiple anatomic structures in CT and MR images before moving on to the next image, and ECVDI Diplomates more frequently inspected a specific anatomic structure through a series, then went back and checked another structure. A significant number of radiologists indicated that they initially ignore the history, adopt relatively rigid search patterns with emphasis on viewing images in a predetermined order with minimal deviation, and arrange series of images to facilitate comparisons between images, such as pre- and postcontrast images. Radiologists tended to adopt similar approaches for both CT and MR studies. Findings from this study could be used as foci for teaching novices how to approach large imaging studies, and provide guidance for case-based assessment of trainees.

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