The grip of the COVID-19 pandemic eased a bit in 2021, and this shift showed in the top 10 radiology stories on AuntMinnie.com for 2021. Compared with six articles about the disease featuring in last year's top 10, COVID-19 stories took three spots on the list this year, based on member views.
But even with fewer stories overall about COVID-19 in our top 10 ranking, one article about how the vaccine for the disease appeared to be affecting breast imaging results -- particularly manifesting as swollen lymph nodes -- still took first place. Our two other top 10 COVID-19 articles addressed the same topic.
Other matters of interest for AuntMinnie.com readers in 2021 included gaslighting in radiology
-- it is a thing -- medical imaging healthcare fraud, two tragic deaths caused by MRI accidents, and FDA updates to radiology software rules.
Read on for a look at what piqued the interest of AuntMinnie.com readers in 2021:
- COVID-19 vaccine affects imaging results, researchers warn
Our number one story posted in February, just as the vaccine rollout for COVID-19 began to ramp up. Two studies published February 24 -- one in the Journal of the American College of Radiology and another in Radiology -- found that effects from the vaccine could manifest on breast imaging in ways that might appear to be disease.
- Radiology isn't immune to gaslighting -- here's how to cope
Our second most read story highlighted the fact that gaslighting -- that is, manipulating others into distrusting their own experience or shutting down their contributions -- can occur in the radiology department. Researchers from New York Medical College in Valhalla offered a description of gaslighting and tips for avoiding it at the virtual American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) meeting in April, noting that "this type of workplace abuse must be taken seriously."
- Oxygen cylinder kills South Korean man in MRI accident
Our third story in the year's top 10 reported on an October account from the South Korean outlet KBS News regarding the death of a 60-year-old man caused by an oxygen cylinder that was carried into the MRI scanning suite during his exam. It's the kind of event that just shouldn't be happening -- especially after the death of 6-year-old Michael Colombini 20 years ago, said MRI safety expert Tobias Gilk, founder of Gilk Radiology Consultants. "We should be deeply embarrassed to see carbon-copy accidents continue to occur decades later," he said. "We know better -- or at least we should know better."
- Medical imaging center CEO found guilty of healthcare fraud
Imaging executives behaving badly is always of interest, as our fourth top 10 story demonstrated. The CEO of several medical imaging companies based in Southern California was found guilty July 2 of running a healthcare fraud scheme through that state's workers' compensation system that included more than $250 million in claims.
- Goodbye, PACS. Hello, MIMPS? FDA updates rules for radiology software
Our fifth top article reported on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) updates of language around radiology software in order to bring the descriptions of these regulations in line with regulatory changes. A key change? Retiring the use of the term "PACS" and taking up use of the term "MIMPS" (medical image management and processing system). We'll see if it sticks.
- Falling MRI scanner kills worker at Utah hospital
In September, a worker died when an MRI scanner that was being moved from one floor to another at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City fell to the ground. It was the first of two fatal accidents in 2021 that involved MRI scanners.
- Swollen lymph nodes after vaccination? Fear not
A story that described the perspective of Israeli researchers on how to make sense of swollen lymph nodes found in breast imaging patients after COVID-19 vaccination, took seventh place on our list. The team stressed that "the reassuring feature of this radiological phenomenon is that it is self-regressing."
- Ultrasound shows lymph node changes after COVID-19 vaccine
In fact, concern about the effects of the COVID-19 vaccine on breast imaging began in January, when radiologists from NewYork-Presbyterian published results in the journal Clinical Imaging from four case studies that showed lymph node enlargement on breast ultrasound.
- AI reduces variability in breast density reporting
Our ninth most-read report covered research conducted by a team from the University of Southern California (USC) and software developer CureMetrix that was presented in March at the European Congress of Radiology (ECR). The study showed that AI-based software reduces variations among readers in breast density assessments on mammography. "This AI-based breast density model ... shows higher reliability compared to the readers and can reduce subjective reporting variability," presenter Dr. Alyssa Watanabe of USC said.
- Short MRI exam shows promise for prostate cancer screening follow-up
Finally, our coverage about a short MRI exam protocol that found twice as many clinically significant prostate cancers than prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing took 10th place on our list. In the study, published February 11 in JAMA Oncology, a U.K. team wrote that their "findings suggest that a short, noncontrast MRI may have favorable performance characteristics as a community-based screening test."