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What is clinical correlation requested after an MRI?

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2012-09-12 18:33:34

When interpreting an imaging study (xray, CT, ultrasound, or

MRI, among others), sometimes a particular finding can mean

different things in different clinical situations. When a

radiologist comes across a finding which may mean multiple things,

a radiologist says "please correlate with clinical findings" or

"clinical correlation requested" to indicate the finding may mean

several things in different circumstances.

For example, on a chest Xray there may be some opacities in a

lung field. That, combined with the clinical information that the

patient has a high fever, with yellow sputum, high white blood cell

count, and is a young woman without other medical problems--then

the leading suspicion is that it is an infection, likely pneumonia.

On the other hand, if the clinical information is that the patient

has just had minor surgery, no fever, has some shallow breaths,

then it's more likely that the opacities can be due to

atelectasis.


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