From routine follow-up to priority consult

What started as a routine follow-up MRI with a former cancer patient quickly took a turn when MRI Technologist Brittany Selby saw something unusual in the imaging.

Brittany Selby, MRI technologist

“I noticed at the very top of my slices [imaging scans] that there was some sort of pathology in the patient’s brain,” says Selby. “I immediately ran a second sequence a little bit higher than the requested coverage area, and I saw something I considered to be significant.”

Identifying a problem

Recognizing the abnormality, Selby immediately brought the scans to the attention of the radiologist, who reviewed them and then rapidly notified the neurosurgery clinic that ordered the test.

“We often find incidental things on scans,” says Selby. “They’re not always malignant, but I thought this was important enough to notify someone as soon as possible.”

What Selby had noticed in a tiny area during the first round of imaging—which was subsequently confirmed in a wider scan—was a glioblastoma, an aggressive and cancerous tumor in the brain.

Trusting your instincts

Did you know?

When CT, MRI, and other scans are done in-house, it provides clinicians with easy access to medical records and consistency in follow-up appointments that both contribute to the excellent patient care we strive to provide.

“If I hadn’t run the second sequence, it wouldn’t have been seen so clearly,” she says. “We scan a lot of patients every day for a wide variety of issues, and it was obvious to me that there was something wrong. When we see an unknown pathology, we always call the radiologist.”

Her sharp eye detected a life-threatening cancer. Thanks to Selby’s keen attention to detail, the patient was sent for a priority consult and began treatment for the cancer.

“We are always encouraged here that if you see something questionable, go ahead and run the coverage a little bit higher,” she says. “Speaking up as soon as possible can save patients the time it would have taken to schedule a second MRI and can escalate their care. I am so glad that we work in an environment that encourages us to take the initiative when we think something is out of the ordinary.”


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