Inconsistent MRI reporting

TheKettleBellPhysioBlog0 Comments

Here’s a joke:

A 63-year-old woman with a history of low back pain and radiating symptoms down her legs walks into an imaging centre for an MRI. She wants to know what’s wrong with her back and find out what’s causing these unpleasant symptoms.

She’s a little suspicious of the medical system and wants a second opinion, so she goes to another centre for a second scan. She’s also a paranoid schizophrenic with a multiple personality disorder and ends up having 10 scans in total, with 10 different radiology reports.

When she gets home she reads and compares each of them. Between the 10 radiologists, they have reported 49 different issues related to something apparently ‘wrong’ at one single segment, not one of which appeared in all ten reports.

Well that’s as clear as mud she’s thinks to herself. My Physio did tell me that there’s no correlation between what’s found on imaging and my symptoms, and if these fools can’t even agree on what they’re looking at, stuff it, I’ll just go for a walk instead.

The elephant in the room is the absence of correlation between what’s found on imaging (and clearly *where* you have the imaging) and symptoms, and the over-reliance on radiological diagnosis for choice of treatment.

If where you receive an MRI so greatly influences your radiological diagnosis, would you rely on it?

Thanks to Adam Meakins for the share

*only the parts about the reporting and findings are true, the ‘story’ is fictitious

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