Non-specific

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 30 Aug 2019

Non-specific is a widely-used term in radiology, and clinical medicine in general. 

Non-specific is used for a symptom, sign, test result, radiological finding, etc., that does not point towards a specific diagnosis or etiology. For example, a high T2 signal lesion of the white matter on an MRI brain is a non-specific finding as the number of possible causes is broad. 

Nevertheless, as was pointed out in a recent article, stating that a radiological finding is non-specific does not remove the responsibility of the reporting radiologist to suggest differential diagnoses, or further appropriate management 1

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