Overdiagnosis – Pulmonary Thrombo-Embolism

This one is an eye-opener.

This editorial from British Medical Journal talks about the the issue of incidentalomas, which we as radiologists are aware of – lung nodules, adrenal nodules, breast lesions, etc.

What is less known is the issue of overdiagnosis. And as far the problem with pulmonary thrombo-embolism is concerned, I was quite unaware that a good number of subsegmental lesions do not need treatment, as described in this article in the same issue of the journal.

What does this mean for us? We cannot step down our ability to read thrombo-emboli. However, the treating physicians do need to make a judgement call on whether all of these patients need treatment or not.

The title of this series is “Too Much Medicine” and the article starts with the phrase “When a Test is Too Good..” All very interesting.


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