What constitutes a perfect case

Dr Ian Bickle and A.Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

So what should the perfect case look like? Over time the quality of contributions to Radiopaedia.org is ever growing and a consensus is emerging as to the make up of a perfect case. For a general set of instructions refer to our case publishing guidelines. You also can get a sense of how close your case is to being perfect by reviewing the case completeness percentage, although this does not take into account the quality of the case itself. 

Below are some points to consider when uploading a case, and to the right are examples of various cases that are close to perfect.

  1. patient's presenting complaint and demographics
    • a one-line sentence encompassing patient demographics and presentation should be provided
      • e.g. "Sudden onset headache"
    • include demographic fields
    • maintain patient confidentiality
  2. study findings
    • very important: a short 'report-like' description of the images provided.
      • e.g. "Non-contrast CT scan of the head demonstrates a large area of reduced attenuation with loss of grey-white matter differentiation, involving almost the whole left middle cerebral artery territory. There is some moderate positive mass effect with effacement of the overlying sulci and early midline shift. Features are consistent with an established MCA territory infarct"
  3. case discussion
    • links to relevant articles including the diagnosis (under a bold subheading of "related articles")
    • comment on how (if) the diagnosis was confirmed
    • include a differential for this case (not a generic list)
    • a list of "Key learning points" is also useful
  4. histology
    • ideally the diagnosis is confirmed histologically (not always possible)
    • ideally macroscopic and microscopic images from the same patient are also available (NB histology from another patient should be a separate case)
    • histology report should be included in a free text section
  5. images
    • good quality, well prepared multi-modality images
    • stacks where appropriate
    • no text on the image (see patient confidentiality)
    • there should not be any logo overlays on the images as this will reduce the quality and teaching value of cases
  6. modality and sequences
    • each image/series should have a modality and where appropriate a sequence/contrast phase
  7. tags
    • each case should have tags pertaining to the specific organ or region (e.g. "knee", "stomach")
    • additionally tags relating the clinical specialty can be included (e.g. "emergency medicine", "trauma", "general surgery")
    • for variant anatomy please include the tag "variant"
  8. system
    • each case should have one or more appropriate systems
    • sometimes a number are required (e.g. vesicoureteric reflux should have both Paediatrics and Urogenital systems)

Of course not all cases can hope to reach such lofty heights, but at least you now know what the perfect case would be like, and in most cases can tick off most boxes.


The standard required from a good case:

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Article information

rID: 11110
Tag: help
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Anatomy of a perfect case
  • Perfect case
  • Anatomy of a the perfect case

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