S. Guy, J. M. Wardlaw



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Clinical Radiology

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AIM: To confirm or refute the impression that diagnostic radiology was often not represented on guideline writing committees, despite the fact that guidelines often made statements with implications for radiological practice. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We took two approaches. Firstly we examined all published Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) guidelines and extracted the disease topic, the number of authors and peer reviewers, the number that were radiologists, and independently decided whether, given the content, radiologist input at the writing or review stage was necessary. We also searched for all guidelines on management of stroke worldwide (a single disease topic with major radiological implications) and extracted the proportion of authors that were radiologists. RESULTS: Of 47 SIGN guidelines on different diseases, 11 (23%) had a radiologist in the authorship (13/594, 2.2% total authors), and 5/47 (11%) had a radiologist specialist reviewer (10/529, 1.8% total reviewers). Independent review of the guidelines’ content suggested that 76% of guidelines should have had a radiologist author and 91% a radiologist reviewer (discrepancy 53% and 80% respectively). Amongst 22 guidelines on acute stroke management in the world literature with 202 authors (where stated), there were only two radiologists (1%), both on one guideline which was specifically to do with imaging of stroke (5% of all stroke guidelines identified). CONCLUSION: Diagnostic radiology is poorly represented on guideline writing committees, although frequently guidelines have implications for radiological practice. Radiologists should try to be more involved in guideline production.