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Journal: Radiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc


Deep learning is a class of machine learning methods that are gaining success and attracting interest in many domains, including computer vision, speech recognition, natural language processing, and playing games. Deep learning methods produce a mapping from raw inputs to desired outputs (eg, image classes). Unlike traditional machine learning methods, which require hand-engineered feature extraction from inputs, deep learning methods learn these features directly from data. With the advent of large datasets and increased computing power, these methods can produce models with exceptional performance. These models are multilayer artificial neural networks, loosely inspired by biologic neural systems. Weighted connections between nodes (neurons) in the network are iteratively adjusted based on example pairs of inputs and target outputs by back-propagating a corrective error signal through the network. For computer vision tasks, convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have proven to be effective. Recently, several clinical applications of CNNs have been proposed and studied in radiology for classification, detection, and segmentation tasks. This article reviews the key concepts of deep learning for clinical radiologists, discusses technical requirements, describes emerging applications in clinical radiology, and outlines limitations and future directions in this field. Radiologists should become familiar with the principles and potential applications of deep learning in medical imaging. (©)RSNA, 2017.

Concepts: Artificial intelligence, Radiology, Machine learning, Learning, Neural network, Artificial neural network, Natural language processing, Unsupervised learning


The use of computed tomography (CT) in clinical practice has been increasing rapidly, with the number of CT examinations performed in adults and children rising by 10% per year in England. Because the radiology community strives to reduce the radiation dose associated with pediatric examinations, external factors, including guidelines for pediatric head injury, are raising expectations for use of cranial CT in the pediatric population. Thus, radiologists are increasingly likely to encounter pediatric head CT examinations in daily practice. The variable appearance of cranial sutures at different ages can be confusing for inexperienced readers of radiologic images. The evolution of multidetector CT with thin-section acquisition increases the clarity of some of these sutures, which may be misinterpreted as fractures. Familiarity with the normal anatomy of the pediatric skull, how it changes with age, and normal variants can assist in translating the increased resolution of multidetector CT into more accurate detection of fractures and confident determination of normality, thereby reducing prolonged hospitalization of children with normal developmental structures that have been misinterpreted as fractures. More important, the potential morbidity and mortality related to false-negative interpretation of fractures as normal sutures may be avoided. The authors describe the normal anatomy of all standard pediatric sutures, common variants, and sutural mimics, thereby providing an accurate and safe framework for CT evaluation of skull trauma in pediatric patients. (©)RSNA, 2015.

Concepts: Medicine, Medical imaging, Tomographic reconstruction, Physician, Radiology, Medical ultrasonography, Confidence interval, Normal distribution


Gallbladder polyps are seen on as many as 7% of gallbladder ultrasonographic images. The differential diagnosis for a polypoid gallbladder mass is wide and includes pseudotumors, as well as benign and malignant tumors. Tumefactive sludge may be mistaken for a gallbladder polyp. Pseudotumors include cholesterol polyps, adenomyomatosis, and inflammatory polyps, and they occur in that order of frequency. The most common benign and malignant tumors are adenomas and primary adenocarcinoma, respectively. Polyp size, shape, and other ancillary imaging findings, such as a wide base, wall thickening, and coexistent gallstones, are pertinent items to report when gallbladder polyps are discovered. These findings, as well as patient age and risk factors for gallbladder cancer, guide clinical decision making. Symptomatic polyps without other cause for symptoms, an age over 50 years, and the presence of gallstones are generally considered indications for cholecystectomy. Incidentally noted pedunculated polyps smaller than 5 mm generally do not require follow-up. Polyps that are 6-10 mm require follow-up, although neither the frequency nor the length of follow-up has been established. Polyps that are larger than 10 mm are typically excised, although lower size thresholds for cholecystectomy may be considered for patients with increased risk for gallbladder carcinoma, such as patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis. (©)RSNA, 2015.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Medical terms, Risk, Hepatology, Adenocarcinoma, Primary sclerosing cholangitis, Gallbladder polyp


Cryptorchidism, family history, and infertility are risk factors for testicular cancer. Most testicular cancers occur in young men aged 18-35 years, and seminoma is the most common cell type. Testicular tumors are usually diagnosed at ultrasonography (US) and are staged at computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. At US, testicular tumors usually appear as a solid intratesticular mass. Because the differential diagnosis includes infarct and infection, correlation with patient history and symptoms is important. At staging CT or MR imaging, retroperitoneal lymph nodes are considered regional lymph nodes, and the greatest nodal diameter is used to distinguish among N1-N3 disease. The right testicular vein drains into the inferior vena cava, and the left testicular vein drains into the left renal vein. Because of venous and lymphatic drainage pathways, retroperitoneal lymph nodes are the initial landing station for testicular cancers. Enlarged lymph nodes in the supraclavicular region, chest, and pelvis are considered distant metastases. Testicular cancer is initially treated with orchiectomy. The patient may then undergo active surveillance, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or retroperitoneal lymph node resection, depending primarily on the clinical stage. Radiologists play an important role in initial diagnosis, staging, and imaging surveillance of testicular malignancies. (©)RSNA, 2015.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Cancer staging, Lymph node, Medical imaging, Testicular cancer, Inferior vena cava


Heterotopic pancreas is a congenital anomaly in which pancreatic tissue is anatomically separate from the main gland. The most common locations of this displacement include the upper gastrointestinal tract-specifically, the stomach, duodenum, and proximal jejunum. Less common sites are the esophagus, ileum, Meckel diverticulum, biliary tree, mesentery, and spleen. Uncomplicated heterotopic pancreas is typically asymptomatic, with the lesion being discovered incidentally during an unrelated surgery, during an imaging examination, or at autopsy. The most common computed tomographic appearance of heterotopic pancreas is that of a small oval intramural mass with microlobulated margins and an endoluminal growth pattern. The attenuation and enhancement characteristics of these lesions parallel their histologic composition. Acinus-dominant lesions demonstrate avid homogeneous enhancement after intravenous contrast material administration, whereas duct-dominant lesions are hypovascular and heterogeneous. At magnetic resonance imaging, the heterotopic pancreas is isointense to the orthotopic pancreas, with characteristic T1 hyperintensity and early avid enhancement after intravenous gadolinium-based contrast material administration. Heterotopic pancreatic tissue has a rudimentary ductal system in which an orifice is sometimes visible at imaging as a central umbilication of the lesion. Complications of heterotopic pancreas include pancreatitis, pseudocyst formation, malignant degeneration, gastrointestinal bleeding, bowel obstruction, and intussusception. Certain complications may be erroneously diagnosed as malignancy. Paraduodenal pancreatitis is thought to be due to cystic degeneration of heterotopic pancreatic tissue in the medial wall of the duodenum. Recognizing the characteristic imaging features of heterotopic pancreas aids in differentiating it from cancer and thus in avoiding unnecessary surgery. (©) RSNA, 2017.

Concepts: Pancreas, Digestive system, Anatomical pathology, Magnetic resonance imaging, Gastroenterology, Small intestine, Digestion, Duodenum


Full-field digital mammography (FFDM), the standard of care for breast cancer screening, has some limitations. With the advent of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), improvements including decreased recall rates and increased cancer detection rates have been observed. The quasi-three-dimensional capability of DBT reduces breast tissue overlap, a significant limitation of FFDM. However, early studies demonstrate that a few cancers detected at FFDM may not be diagnosed at DBT-only screening, and lesions with calcifications as the dominant feature may look less suspicious at DBT or not be visible at all. These findings support the use of combined FFDM and DBT protocols to optimize screening performance. However, this combination would approximately double the patient’s radiation exposure. The development of computer algorithms that generate two-dimensional synthesized mammography (SM) views from DBT has improved calcification conspicuity and sensitivity. Therefore, SM may substitute for FFDM in screening protocols, reducing radiation exposure. DBT plus SM demonstrates significantly better performance than that of FFDM alone, although there are reports of missed malignant calcifications. Thus, some centers continue to perform FFDM with DBT. Use of DBT in breast imaging has also necessitated the development of DBT-guided biopsy. DBT-guided biopsy may have a higher success rate than that of stereotactic biopsy, with a shorter procedure time. While DBT brings substantial improvements to breast cancer imaging, it is important to be aware of its strengths and limitations regarding detection of calcifications. This article reviews the imaging appearance of breast calcifications at DBT, discusses calcification biopsy techniques, and provides an overview of the current literature. Online DICOM image stacks are available for this article. ©RSNA, 2019.


Traumatic finger injuries account for a substantial number of emergency visits every year. Imaging plays an important role in diagnosis and in directing management of these injuries. Although many injuries can be managed conservatively, some require more invasive interventions to prevent complications and loss of function. Accurate diagnosis of finger injuries can often be difficult, given the complicated soft-tissue anatomy of the hand and the diverse spectrum of injuries that can occur. To best serve the patient and the treating physician, radiologists must have a working knowledge of finger anatomy, the wide array of injury patterns that can occur, the characteristic imaging findings of different finger injuries, and the most appropriate treatment options for each type of injury. This article details the intricate anatomy of the hand as it relates to common finger injuries, illustrates the imaging findings of a range of injuries, presents optimal imaging modalities and imaging parameters for the diagnosis of different injury types, and addresses which findings have important management implications for the patient and the orthopedic surgeon. With this fund of knowledge, radiologists will be able to recommend the most appropriate imaging studies, make accurate diagnoses, convey clinically relevant imaging findings to the referring physician, and suggest appropriate follow-up examinations. In this way, the radiologist will help improve patient care and outcomes. Online supplemental material is available for this article. (©)RSNA, 2016.

Concepts: Medicine, Patient, Hospital, Surgery, Medical imaging, Physician, Radiology, Anatomy


Toxic and metabolic brain disorders are relatively uncommon diseases that affect the central nervous system, but they are important to recognize as they can lead to catastrophic outcomes if not rapidly and properly managed. Imaging plays a key role in determining the most probable diagnosis, pointing to the next steps of investigation, and providing prognostic information. The majority of cases demonstrate bilateral and symmetric involvement of structures at imaging, affecting the deep gray nuclei, cortical gray matter, and/or periventricular white matter, and some cases show specific imaging manifestations. When an appropriate clinical situation suggests exogenous or endogenous toxic effects, the associated imaging pattern usually indicates a restricted group of diagnostic possibilities. Nonetheless, toxic and metabolic brain disorders in the literature are usually approached in the literature by starting with common causal agents and then reaching imaging abnormalities, frequently mixing many different possible manifestations. Conversely, this article proposes a systematic approach to address this group of diseases based on the most important imaging patterns encountered in clinical practice. Each pattern is suggestive of a most likely differential diagnosis, which more closely resembles real-world scenarios faced by radiologists. Basic pathophysiologic concepts regarding cerebral edemas and their relation to imaging are introduced-an important topic for overall understanding. The most important imaging patterns are presented, and the main differential diagnosis for each pattern is discussed. Online supplemental material is available for this article.©RSNA, 2019.


Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an autoimmune demyelinating disorder for which the aquaporin-4 (AQP4) water channels are the major target antigens. Advances in the understanding of NMO have clarified several points of its pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, and imaging patterns. A major advance was the discovery of the AQP4 antibody, which is highly specific for this disorder. Descriptions of new clinical and radiologic features in seropositive patients have expanded the spectrum of NMO, and the term NMO spectrum disorder (NMOSD) has been adopted. NMOSD is now included in a widening list of differential diagnoses. Acknowledgment of NMOSD imaging patterns and their mimicry of disorders has been crucial in supporting early NMOSD diagnosis, especially for unusual clinical manifestations of this demyelinating disease. This pictorial review summarizes the wide imaging spectrum of NMOSD and its differential diagnosis, as well as its historical evolution, pathophysiology, and clinical manifestations. ©RSNA, 2018.

Concepts: Immune system, Optics, Medical terms, Pathology, Multiple sclerosis, Medical diagnosis, Major, Differential diagnosis


Routine non-contrast material-enhanced head CT is one of the most frequently ordered studies in the emergency department. Skull base-related pathologic entities, often depicted on the first or last images of a routine head CT study, can be easily overlooked in the emergency setting if not incorporated in the interpreting radiologist’s search pattern, as the findings can be incompletely imaged. Delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or lack of recognition of skull base pathologic entities can negatively impact patient care. This article reviews and illustrates the essential skull base anatomy and common blind spots that are important to radiologists who interpret nonenhanced head CT images in the acute setting. The imaging characteristics of important “do not miss” lesions are emphasized and categorized by their cause and location within the skull base, and the potential differential diagnoses are discussed. An interpretation checklist to improve diagnostic accuracy is provided. ©RSNA, 2019.