Article Type

Original Research

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the disease processes encountered on abdominal and pelvic CT examinations at academic teaching hospitals in Rwanda and the United States and to highlight how these differences may impact a global radiology collaboration.

Materials and Methods: In this retrospective study, we included 130 patients (mean 59 +/-17 years, range 20-91, F:M 74:56) who underwent abdominal/pelvic CT examinations between April 1st-12th, 2019. CT examinations were prospectively encountered in clinical work at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Kigali or University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK) in Kigali, Rwanda, where the radiology report impression, patient age, gender, study indication, CT protocol, and clinical diagnosis were recorded when available. Abdominal/pelvic CT examinations at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, Massachusetts, United States were then retrospectively reviewed for the same information. Patient age and gender were compared using Student’s t-test and Chi-square statistic. Frequency of formal recommendations in radiology reports, available comparison of CT examinations, presence of known diagnoses, and intravenous and oral contrast media use were compared using Fisher’s exact test. Diagnostic categories were qualitatively compared.

Results: A wide variety of pathology was encountered by abdominal/pelvic CT at both sites of imaging, with qualitative differences observed in cancer types, infectious agents, and how imaging guides care. Patients in Rwanda were older (p=0.0017), more likely to receive intravenous (p < 0.05) and positive oral contrast (p < 0.05) media and less likely to receive a formal recommendation in their radiology report (p < 0.05). Patients in the United States were more likely to have an available prior abdominal/pelvic CT (p < 0.05), to present for follow-up of a known diagnosis (p < 0.05), and to receive a formal recommendation in their radiology report (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Participation in global radiology collaborations is beneficial for radiologists by broadening exposure to pathologies and practice different from their own institution and region.


Computed tomography, Rwanda, Global radiology

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© 2022 Anderson, Niyonsenga, Rosman, and Gee. This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Corresponding Author(s)

Mark A. Anderson, M.D., Attending Radiologist, Abdominal Imaging Division, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Instructor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School, 55 Fruit Street, White 270, Boston, MA 02114, Ph: 617-643-2009, Fax: 617-726-4891, ORCID: 0000-0002-6144-9093; mark.anderson@mgh.harvard.edu