Research priorities for the influence of gender on diagnostic imaging choices in the emergency department setting

Acad Emerg Med. 2014 Dec;21(12):1431-7. doi: 10.1111/acem.12537. Epub 2014 Nov 24.


Diagnostic imaging is a cornerstone of patient evaluation in the acute care setting, but little effort has been devoted to understanding the appropriate influence of sex and gender on imaging choices. This article provides background on this issue and a description of the working group and consensus findings reached during the diagnostic imaging breakout session at the 2014 Academic Emergency Medicine consensus conference "Gender-specific Research in Emergency Care: Investigate, Understand, and Translate How Gender Affects Patient Outcomes." Our goal was to determine research priorities for how sex and gender may (or should) affect imaging choices in the acute care setting. Prior to the conference, the working group identified five areas for discussion regarding the research agenda in sex- and gender-based imaging using literature review and expert consensus. The nominal group technique was used to identify areas for discussion for common presenting complaints to the emergency department where ionizing radiation is often used for diagnosis: suspected pulmonary embolism, suspected kidney stone, lower abdominal pain with a concern for appendicitis, and chest pain concerning for coronary artery disease. The role of sex- and gender-based shared decision-making in diagnostic imaging decisions is also raised.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / diagnosis
  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Acute Disease
  • Age Factors
  • Chest Pain / diagnosis
  • Chest Pain / etiology
  • Consensus
  • Decision Making*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / statistics & numerical data*
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Gender Identity
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Sex Factors