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New York Radiologists Performed Poorly at Picking out Back Pain Causes!

In 2017, Herzog et al published the results of their semi-diabolical study which sent a single pain-suffering patient to 10 randomly-chosen radiology centers in New York for a lumbar MRI and radiologist's interpretation of those images (i.e., the radiology report).

These 10 reports were then analyzed by two radiologists who were considered world-class radiologists of the lumbar spine. How did the New York radiologists do? Were they able to pick out these three common causes of low back pain?

You would think that all these board-certified radiologists would have caught the three common problems and their reports would be at least somewhat identical, but this was far from the case! I'll let you read the full review in my research blog, but to give you an idea of how poorly these radiologists did as a group, here's a fact from the study: 60% of the radiologists completely missed the severe spinal stenosis at L2/3 and only 10% of them actually saw it and described it correctly!