Clinical Research| Volume 49, ISSUE 4, P390-394, April 2023

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Incidental Findings in Small Field of View Cone-beam Computed Tomography Scans, Part 2: Interpretation with Aid of a Checklist

Published:January 23, 2023DOI:



      Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans are routinely used by endodontic residents and faculty at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine for diagnostic purposes but are not routinely read for pathologic findings by a radiologist. In a 2017 study by Oser et al (part 1), endodontic residents and a radiologist interpreted CBCT scans taken for endodontic diagnostic purposes, and their findings were compared. The results demonstrated that a radiologist is significantly more likely to report incidental findings in small field of view (FOV) scans. A limitation of this study was that the radiologist used a checklist of common findings to review the scans. The purpose of this study was to examine whether the use of a checklist would improve the sensitivity of the endodontic residents’ reporting of incidental findings in small FOV CBCT scans.


      The 203 small FOV CBCT scans used in part 1 were obtained and reviewed by endodontic residents in a systematic fashion. Radiographic findings were reported using a blank checklist. The results were compared with those previously reported.


      The radiologist reported abnormalities in 176 of the 203 subjects (87%), and the residents reported abnormalities in 184 of the 203 subjects (91%). There was an increase in false positive findings when the residents were using a checklist.


      The use of a checklist improved the sensitivity but decreased the specificity of the reporting of incidental findings in small FOV CBCT scans by endodontic residents.

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