Perceptual and Interpretive Error in Diagnostic Radiology—Causes and Potential Solutions

Andrew J. Degnan, Emily H. Ghobadi, Peter Hardy, Elizabeth Krupinski, Elena P. Scali, Lindsay Stratchko, Adam Ulano, Eric Walker, Ashish P. Wasnik, William F. Auffermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Interpretation of increasingly complex imaging studies involves multiple intricate tasks requiring visual evaluation, cognitive processing, and decision-making. At each stage of this process, there are opportunities for error due to human factors including perceptual and ergonomic conditions. Investigation into the root causes of interpretive error in radiology first began over a century ago. In more recent work, there has been increasing recognition of the limits of human image perception and other human factors and greater acknowledgement of the role of the radiologist's environment in increasing the risk of error. This article reviews the state of research on perceptual and interpretive error in radiology. This article focuses on avenues for further error examination, and strategies for mitigating these errors are discussed. The relationship between artificial intelligence and interpretive error is also considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)833-845
Number of pages13
JournalAcademic Radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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