Usage Patterns of CT and MRI in the Evaluation of Otologic Disease

Annie E. Moroco, Robert A. Saadi, Aaron R. Baker, Junjia Zhu, Huseyin Isildak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective:To evaluate the current trends and usage patterns of radiographic imaging for otologic disease by specialty, length of practice, practice setting, geographic region, and pediatric volume.Study Design:Cross-sectional study.Setting:Survey of physicians.Subjects:General Otolaryngologists and Otologists/Neurotologists (O/N) of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS).Methods and Outcome Measures:An electronic questionnaire was distributed to AAO-HNS members. Respondents were separated into groups by specialty, length of practice, practice setting, region, and pediatric exposure. Chi-square tests were performed for the determination of significance.Results:The survey was sent to 5,168 members of AAO-HNS. The response rate was 10.6% (n=546) and 18.1% for only O/N (n=143). Most respondents were generalists (74%), in practice >20years (51%), with a primarily adult practice (95%). O/N were more often academics (44 versus 17% combined, 40% private; p<0.001) and saw fewer children (80 fewer than 25%; p<0.001). Compared with generalists, O/N were more likely to respond with more frequent and earlier magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) utilization in the workup of the majority of otologic diseases. Significant differences in usage patterns for various conditions were demonstrated across all categories, but specialty training was the most common. Generalists (34 versus 12% of O/N; p<0.001), physicians practicing >20years (32 versus 18% of<5yrs; p=0.006), and private practice physicians (34 versus 14-20% of others; p<0.001) relied more heavily on the radiology report to interpret MRI scans.Conclusion:Subspecialty training seems to be the main variable correlating with significant differences in the use of MRI and computed tomography imaging in patients with otologic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E698-E708
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


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