The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists
Recommendations from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists on imaging for ankle trauma, deep venous thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, low back pain, whole breast radiation therapy, prostate cancer, bone metastases, brain radiation therapy & locoregional therapy. RANZCR is a non-profit association that delivers skills, knowledge, and insight to promote the science and practice of the medical specialties of clinical radiology (diagnostic and interventional) and radiation oncology.
Don’t request duplex compression ultrasound for suspected lower limb deep venous thrombosis in ambulatory outpatients unless the Wells Score (deep venous thrombosis risk assessment score) is greater than 2, OR if less than 2, D dimer assay is positive.
The potential complications of untreated deep venous thrombosis (DVT) include thrombus propagation, pulmonary embolism (PE) and death from PE. A significant but under-appreciated longer-term complication is post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) and this can occur in up to 40% of patients with proximal DVT, as a result of venous incompetence and hypertension.
Wells et al. (2003) showed that ambulatory outpatients with suspected lower limb DVT and a DVT risk assessment score (Wells Score) of less than 2, can have DVT excluded by a negative result on D dimer assay, obviating the need to perform duplex compression ultrasound. The lower limit of the negative predictive value of the combination of a score <2 and negative D dimer was found to be 96.7. The Wells Score has been extensively and externally validated since first publication.
Recommendation released April 2015
- Wells PS, Anderson DR, Rodger M, Forgie M, Kearon C, Dreyer J, et al. Evaluation of D-dimer in the diagnosis of suspected deep-vein thrombosis. N Engl J Med. 2003; 349(13): 1227-35.
- Oudega R, Moons KG, Hoes AW. Ruling out deep venous thrombosis in primary care. A simple diagnostic algorithm including D-dimer testing. Thromb Haemost. 2005; 94(1): 200-5.
Clinical radiology recommendations 1-6 (April 2015)
A team of five Lead Radiologists were nominated to guide RANZCR's Choosing Wisely contribution. These Lead Radiologists analysed previous work completed by RANZCR, in particular a series of Education Modules for Appropriate Imaging Referrals.
These modules had been developed from an extensive evidence base and with multiple stakeholder input. Using the evidence from the Education Modules, the Lead Radiologists developed a draft recommendations list, which was then further developed and endorsed by RANZCR's Quality and Safety Committee, before being circulated to the RANZCR membership for consultation with a request for alternative recommendations. Member feedback was reviewed by the Lead Radiologists prior to ratification of the final recommendations by the Faculty of Clinical Radiology Council. The final six items selected were those that were felt to meet the goals of Choosing Wisely, i.e. those which are frequently requested or which might expose patients to unnecessary radiation.
Due to the fundamental role of diagnostic imaging in supporting diagnosis across the healthcare system, RANZCR worked closely with other Colleges throughout the project via the Advisory Panel. Following identification of two common recommendations with the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, it was agreed by both Colleges to present these items jointly.
Radiation oncology recommendations 7-12 (October 2016)
Recommendations relating to radiation oncology from the Choosing Wisely and Choosing Wisely Canada were circulated around the Faculty of Radiation Oncology Council to determine which recommendations were applicable to the Australian and New Zealand context. The selected recommendations were then put to the Quality Improvement Committee and the Economics and Workforce Committee, with each being asked to rank the recommendations.
The five highest ranked recommendations were then put to the radiation oncology membership for consultation prior to being formally approved by the Faculty of Radiation Oncology Council.
Recommendations 7-10 are adapted from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) 2013 and 2014 lists. Recommendation 11 is adapted from Choosing Wisely Canada’s Oncology list. Each organisation was approached for—and subsequently granted—approval to adapt these recommendations as part of the Choosing Wisely Australia campaign.
- 1 Don’t request imaging for acute ankle trauma unless indicated by the Ottawa Ankle Rules (localised bone tenderness or inability to weight-bear as defined in the Rules).
- 2 Don’t request duplex compression ultrasound for suspected lower limb deep venous thrombosis in ambulatory outpatients unless the Wells Score (deep venous thrombosis risk assessment score) is greater than 2, OR if less than 2, D dimer assay is positive.
Don’t request any diagnostic testing for suspected pulmonary embolism (PE) unless indicated by Wells Score (or Charlotte Rule) followed by PE Rule-out Criteria (in patients not pregnant). Low risk patients in whom diagnostic testing is indicated should have PE excluded by a negative D dimer, not imaging.
- 4 Don't perform imaging for patients with non-specific acute low back pain and no indicators of a serious cause for low back pain.
- 5 Don't request imaging of the cervical spine in trauma patients, unless indicated by a validated clinical decision rule.
- 6 Don’t request computed tomography (CT) head scans in patients with a head injury, unless indicated by a validated clinical decision rule.
- 7 Don’t initiate whole-breast radiation therapy as a part of breast conservation therapy in women age ≥50y with early-stage invasive breast cancer without considering shorter treatment schedules.
- 8 Don’t initiate management of low risk prostate cancer without discussing active surveillance.
- 9 Don’t routinely use extended fractionation schemes (>10 fractions) for palliation of bone metastases.
- 10 Don't routinely add adjuvant whole-brain radiation therapy to stereotactic radiosurgery for limited brain metastases.
- 11 Don’t routinely use extensive locoregional therapy in most cancer situations where there is metastatic disease and minimal symptoms attributable to the primary tumour.