ITEMS IN AFP WITH KEYWORD:
Key clinical questions and their evidence-based answers directly from the journal’s content, written by and for family physicians.
With the use of diagnostic radiography doubling over the past two decades, multiple initiatives have sought to reduce unnecessary radiation exposure. Appropriate use criteria can help guide decisions related to advanced diagnostic imaging studies. This article summarizes the appropriate use of imaging for some common clinical presentations.
Physicians should consider the ramifications before ordering an MRI in the setting of chronic pain. An MRI that is not indicated can lead to a procedure that is not necessary as both patient and physician focus on the abnormal study finding. Most patients improve with conservative management that requires active involvement.
A collaboration between AFP and the Lown Institute promotes a vision of delivering heath care that is based on the evidence, balanced in its approach, and focused on the patient.
Kidney cancer is one of the 10 most common cancers in the United States. Risk factors include hypertension, tobacco use, obesity, and acquired cystic kidney disease in the setting of end-stage renal disease. More than 50% of patients with renal cell carcinoma are asymptomatic and are diagnosed incidentally during thoracoabdominal imaging. Prompt evaluation of warning signs can improve prognosis, and active surveillance is an option for certain patients.
We all need to test wisely and weigh the risks and benefits of diagnostic imaging. Imaging—and testing in general—has real downsides, such as stumbling onto things you wish you had not.
The risks of imaging, in addition to radiation exposure, include the identification of incidentalomas, which can lead to patient anxiety, further testing, and overtreatment. There is little research to guide what to do when they pop up on an imaging report (as the famous dodge “clinical correlation needed”).
There is no advantage to adding CT of the abdomen and pelvis to a basic screening protocol for occult malignancy in patients with unprovoked VTE.
Find out when further workup of incidental findings is warranted for patients with pituitary, thyroid, pulmonary, hepatic, pancreatic, adrenal, renal, and ovarian incidentalomas.
Jul 1, 2014 Issue
Ethical Use of Diagnostic Technology: Balancing What's New and What's Necessary [Curbside Consultation]
This case boils down to being realistic about what new screening tools and techniques can and can't do, and understanding their actual value in diagnoses. I'd argue that it is not unethical to accommodate a patient's requests, as long as the physician's approach to the patient, the pathology, the te...