Errors and malpractice lawsuits in radiology: what the radiologist needs to know

Francesco Paolo Busardò, Paola Frati, Alessandro Santurro, Simona Zaami, Vittorio Fineschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


All medical specialties dealing with patients include an intrinsic risk in exposing them to issues resulting from human errors. Radiology is not spared from this risk since it includes “decision-making under conditions of uncertainty.” In medical imaging, the line between the word “error” and misdiagnosis or discrepancy is very difficult to demarcate, mainly because the diagnostic process is not a binary relation and it is not always possible to establish if a pathological condition is present or not. The error in radiology is strongly related to the diagnostic process; hence, it can be defined as a “diagnostic error” which represents the most common cause of medical malpractice suits against radiologists. In this paper, the authors described the features of errors occurring in radiology, trying to establish their impact and prevalence. Secondly, some data coming from different countries were compared in order to highlight the most frequent causes leading to malpractice lawsuits in radiology and how the phenomenon of malpractice in this field is represented worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-784
Number of pages6
JournalRadiologia Medica
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 25 2015


  • Diagnostic error
  • Error disclosure
  • Malpractice lawsuits
  • Radiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Medicine(all)


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