Reliability of on-call radiology residents’ interpretation of 64-slice CT pulmonary angiography for the detection of pulmonary embolism
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BACKGROUND: Computed tomography (CT) angiography for pulmonary embolism (PE) is the present standard for diagnosing PE. In many teaching hospitals, radiology residents are the first to review the case and to make an initial interpretation of the images. Accurate diagnosis of PE is crucial, especially in the emergency care setting. PURPOSE: To evaluate the discrepancies between resident and staff interpretations of 64-slice CT angiogram for PE. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Discrepancies between the preliminary reports by the on-call radiology resident were compared to the final report by the staff radiologist in 215 consecutive cases of 64-slice CT angiogram performed for PE, from May 2005 to March 2008. RESULTS: Discrepancies were noted in 25 of the 215 studies (11.6%). These residents' discrepancies consisted of three false-positive, four false-negative, and 18 equivocal cases. There was a decrease in the discrepancy rate from the second year to the fifth year of training by approximately 60%. CONCLUSION: The rate of discrepancy fell steeply between the second and fifth year of the residents training from 18.5% to 6.9%. Our study suggests that it is reasonable to have on-call radiology residents perform the preliminary interpretations of 64-slice CT for PE studies.
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