The value of case reports

Can case reports reveal the clinical value of radiology?

An odd question I know but a team of researchers from Germany asked very much that in a recently published paper. They concluded with the following answer:

“In case reports published in a prominent general medical journal radiological imaging is an important key player in the diagnostic process. In many cases, it is also the diagnostic tool which ultimately leads to determining the final diagnosis.” (1)

We are glad to see the prominent journal being our very own BMJ Case Reports. One aim – of pulling nearly 10,000 case reports into one place – has been to explore what additional value can be found in the collection. Data mining to look at the diagnostic value of radiology in challenging cases is one of them and the authors of this paper argue the case for that.

Please feel free to use BMJ Case Reports in your methods section. It is one of the most prestigious places to be in a paper. What data mining would you look for?

1 Wiesinger I, Scharf G, Platz N, et al. Evaluation of the contribution of radiological imaging to the final diagnosis in medical case reports. Eur Radiol 2014;:1–6. doi:10.1007/s00330-014-3537-7

Data visualisation
Data mining – another use for Case Reports?