What constitutes a perfect case

Last revised by Rohit Sharma on 30 Jan 2022

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 makeup 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 be 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. case title
    • a clear and concise case title is vital
    • case title is best if just the diagnosis of the case
      • e.g. "Hepatoma", not "Interesting patient with hepatoma"
  2. patient's presenting complaint
    • a one-line sentence encompassing the presentation should be provided
      • e.g. "Sudden onset headache"
    • maintain patient confidentiality
  3. patient data
    • age and gender should always be included
    • age for adult patients should be rounded to the nearest 5 years
  4. 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."
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. images
    • good quality, well-prepared multimodality images
    • digitally exported images from a PACS is strongly preferred
    • 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
  8. modality and sequences
    • each image/series should have a modality and where appropriate a sequence/contrast phase
  9. 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"
  10. system
    • each case should have one or more appropriate systems
    • sometimes a number is required (e.g. vesicoureteric reflux should have both Pediatrics 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 for a good case:

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Cases and figures

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