Evaluating radiologists’ knowledge of MRI safety – a questionnaire-based survey of practicing radiologists
There is a lot of confusion about whether to scan patients with different types of metal in their bodies, to the extent that patients are often refused MRI scans. In order to assess the scope of the problem and allow targeted designing of educational programs, we conducted a survey on MRI safety amongst radiologists from varying geographies.
METHODS AND MATERIALS:
An anonymous questionnaire with 11 clinical situations was circulated digitally amongst ~5,000 radiologists. Questions comprised of MRI scanning dilemmas faced by us in real practice, where an MRI was eventually performed after extensive literature search. Situations included those related to total knee replacements (TKR), VP shunts, bullet injuries, shrapnel injuries, tattoos, baclofen pumps, intra-uterine devices (IUD), sternal wires, coronary stents and cardiac valves. Responses were scored and appropriate analysis performed.
We note a trend wherein radiologists seem to adopt a conservative approach and avoid MRI in situations where it can be safely performed, denying patients optimum care. Radiologists need to be systematically educated about situations where MRI can and cannot be done in a clinical setting - situational education being one approach. We demonstrate the need for conducting dedicated training programs on the safety of MRI for practicing radiologists. Many patients who are denied critical MRI scans can benefit from such programs.
The EPOS can be viewed here: http://dx.doi.org/10.26044/ecr2020/C-04729