Radiology resident competency in detecting basilar artery occlusion: a simulation-based assessment

Emerg Radiol. 2024 Feb;31(1):1-6. doi: 10.1007/s10140-023-02189-8. Epub 2023 Nov 23.


Purpose: Basilar artery strokes are rare but can have characteristic imaging findings that can often be overlooked. This retrospective study aims to assess radiology residents' ability to identify CT imaging findings of basilar artery occlusion in a simulated call environment.

Methods: The Wisdom in Diagnostic Imaging Emergent/Critical Care Radiology Simulation (WIDI SIM)-a tested and reliable computer-aided emergency imaging simulation-was employed to assess resident readiness for independent radiology call. The simulations include 65 cases of varying complexity, including normal studies, with one case specifically assessing basilar artery stroke. Residents were presented with a single, unique case of basilar artery occlusion in two separate years of testing and were only provided with non-contrast CT images. Residents' free text responses were manually scored by faculty members using a standardized grading rubric, with errors subsequently classified by type.

Results: A total of 454 radiology residents were tested in two separate years on the imaging findings of basilar artery occlusion using the Wisdom in Diagnostic Imaging simulation web-based testing platform. Basilar artery occlusion was consistently underdiagnosed by radiology residents being tested for call readiness irrespective of the numbers of years in training. On average, only 14% of radiology residents were able to correctly identify basilar artery occlusion on non-contrast CT.

Conclusions: Our findings underscore a potential gap in radiology residency training related to the detection of basilar artery occlusion, highlighting the potential need for increased educational efforts in this area.

Keywords: Basilar artery occlusion; Radiology; Residents; Simulation; Training.

MeSH terms

  • Basilar Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Professional Competence
  • Radiology* / education
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke*