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19 Low-value imaging: what is it and how extensive is the problem?
  1. Elin Kjelle,
  2. Eivind Andersen,
  3. Bjørn Hofmann
  1. NTNU, Gjøvik, Norway


Objectives To investigate which imaging procedures that are identified as low-value imaging and to provide an overview of how large proportion of these procedures that are considered to be of low value.

Method Scoping review searching Medline-Ovid, Embase-Ovid, Scopus, and Cochrane Library for studies published from 2010 to September 2020. Medical subject headings (Mesh) for Diagnostic imaging/Radiology OR Health service misuse/Medical overuse OR Procedures and Techniques Utilization/Facilities and Services Utilization were used for building the search strategy, and articles in English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, or Norwegian were included.

Results Of 39,986 identified records 370 studies were included in the final evidence synthesis identifying 84 low-value imaging procedures. The most frequently identified low-value imaging procedures were imaging of atraumatic pain, routine imaging in minor head injury, trauma, thrombosis, urolithiasis, after thoracic interventions, fracture follow-up and cancer staging/follow-up. The extension of low-value imaging varied between 2 and 100% of the identified imaging procedures.

Conclusions A review of the literature has identified a list of 84 low-value imaging procedures for both adults and children. The proportion of low-value imaging varied greatly for the various procedures and with context. There is a substantial potential to reduce the use of low-value imaging nationally and internationally.

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