Evidence-based practice in radiology: steps 3 and 4--appraise and apply diagnostic radiology literature

Radiology. 2007 Feb;242(2):342-54. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2422051679.


Several paradigms for evidence-based practice (EBP) exist. One model proposes that specialist academic centers should primarily construct valid guidelines for various topics in medicine (top-down model). An alternative model integrates "the best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values" (bottom-up model). Whereas the former model inherently implies a central specialized process, the latter implies that practitioners working in nonspecialist centers can learn and implement a standardized set of tools with which to ask a question, search and appraise the literature, and then apply best current evidence in a local setting. This article focuses on appraising the literature and applying retrieved results and is part of a series on EBP in radiology. This article describes a clinical scenario in which a new respirologist at a hospital requests indirect computed tomographic (CT) venography as part of a work-up of a patient with a high pretest probability for pulmonary embolism and a positive d-dimer test result. Many controversies surround the technique of indirect CT venography, and difficult topics such as this are ideally suited to the tools of EBP. This article will describe how to approach such a scenario.

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / standards
  • Humans
  • Information Storage and Retrieval
  • Medical Informatics
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Phlebography / methods
  • Radiology*
  • Research
  • Review Literature as Topic
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Venous Thrombosis / diagnostic imaging


  • Contrast Media