1st Edition

Mnemonics for Radiologists and FRCR 2B Viva Preparation A Systematic Approach

    Revising for the final FRCR examination is a challenging task. The candidate has to balance their revision time between image interpretation practice, learning facts and refining presentation skills. Whilst it is better to gain an understanding of the underlying mechanisms that result in a radiological abnormality, it is an unavoidable truth that some things just have to be rote learned. This revision guide demonstrates a proven mechanism for organising thoughts, directing revision towards the more important diagnoses and providing clarity when confronted with the mountain of information expected to retained and recalled during the FRCR viva exam. Mnemonics typically uses word-based cues to enhance memory, reduce cognitive load and aid learning. This guide relies on acronyms and acrostics - proven to be highly effective for rote learning and focused revision. FRCR examination candidates will appreciate the unified structure throughout, with extensive use of sample images followed by sets of differential diagnoses and mnemonic listings. For each stem of the mnemonic, the main radiological findings and useful distinguishing features are listed and a model answer is given. A short discussion of the main diagnoses follows, increasing comprehension and aiding examination confidence.

    Section 1: Cardiorespiratory. Upper lobe fibrosis. Interstitial lung disease with normal lung volumes. Diffuse reticulonodular shadowing. Multiple pulmonary nodules. Small/miliary pattern of nodules. Multiple calcified lung nodules. Large cavitating mass. Anterior mediastinal mass. Pleural lesions. Hyperlucent hemithorax. Complete whiteout on chest X-ray. Peripheral consolidation. Diffuse lung consolidation. Bilateral hilar enlargement. Inferior rib notching. Section 2: Musculoskeletal. Diffuse osteosclerosis. Multiple lytic bone lesions. Expansile lytic bone lesion. Aggressive lytic bone lesion. Epiphyseal lesion in the young. Diffuse marrow infiltration. Posterior vertebral body scalloping. Lateral clavicle resorption. Short metacarpals. Acro-osteolysis. Bowed tibia. Diffuse periosteal reaction in adults. Avascular necrosis. Section 3: Gastrointestinal and genitourinary. Enhancing liver lesion. Air in the biliary tree. Terminal ileal mass/stricture. Colitis. Solid mesenteric mass. Renal papillary necrosis. Nephrocalcinosis. Section 4: Neuroradiology. Ring enhancing brain lesion. Cerebellopontine angle mass. Pituitary region mass. Basal ganglia calcification. Intra-axial haemorrhage. Restricted diffusion. Intramedullary spinal mass. Extramedullary intradural spinal mass. Extradural spinal mass. Section 5: Paediatrics. Diffuse periosteal reaction in a child. Vertebra plana. Multiple wormian bones. Posterior fossa mass in a child. Large abdominal mass in a child. Low bowel obstruction in the neonate.


    William Bugg, Radiology Registrar, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.Phillip Yoong, Clinical Fellow in Musculoskeletal Radiology, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford. Catherine A. Johnson Senior Fellow in Radiology, Royal Marsden Hospital, London.