Table of Contents
In an effort to establish the exact health disorder that a patient is suffering from, medical practitioners prefer to use medical imaging as it assists in diagnosis and treatment. In essence, Buttaro1 asserts that medical imaging sets the ground for prevention and detection of various cancers, which would have been unnoticed in a situation where the patient failed to undergo the health procedure. In this regard, this paper seeks to conduct an analysis of the role of medical imaging in liver masses, through evaluation of three health articles. That is, a case study article, an original report, and a peer reviewed article. The evaluation will help determine the approaches applied in diverse health article in explaining a given topic.
The article by Park et al2, “Characterization of Focal Liver Masses Using Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) Elastography”. This article was accessed through search of databases that contain medical research articles including PubMed search and Google Scholar. From PubMed, the articles were classified in relation to genre; that is case studies, research papers, and peer reviewed articles. Since an original research paper was required, the article by Park et al2 was selected as it contained the information that related to the topic of evaluation; that is, focal liver masses.
This peer reviewed article by Bahirwani and Reddy3, “Review Article: The Evaluation of Solitary Liver Masses,” was accessed through Ebscohost, which is an academic database and search engine that displays all articles that relate to a given topic after logging in. Thus, upon searching the topic under research; that is, focal liver masses, the search engine presented all articles that contain the key words. However, this article was selected as it was a peer reviewed article as stated on it title, and also by filtering the search options to peer-reviewed articles only.
The article by Boodt4 is a case study as illustrated by its title, “Incidental Findings: a Case Study of Benign Liver Masses.” This article was selected after using the Google search engine, where the keywords “a case study on focal liver masses” offered the option of scholarly articles, which led to Google Scholar, where there were a number of case study articles on the same topic. As such, the article was selected as it was more appealing to the topic under study.
The article by Park et al2, “Characterization of Focal Liver Masses Using Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) Elastography” is an original report as authors conducted a research on the topic. In other words, the authors of the article conducted primary research in order to offer conclusive insights concerning the study topic. The research aim was to conduct an investigation of the diagnostic performance of ARFI elastography through stiffness qualification of the characterized focal live mass. The research concluded that ARFI elastrography offered information for liver masses differential diagnosis. Nonetheless, the results of the research were to be analyzed in clinical context, owing to the existence of overlapping ARFI values amid liver masses.
The peer reviewed article is by Bahirwani and Reddy3, “Review Article: The Evaluation of Solitary Liver Masses.” This is a peer-reviewed article as illustrated by its title “Review article” as well as the fact that it has been published by well-established and renowned company, the Blackwell Publishing Ltd. This is an illustration that it underwent thorough scrutiny by several scholars in the medical field, prior to its publication in the journal of Alimentary Pharmacology& Therapeutics. The article’s aim is to offer a comprehensive review of the subject matter, liver masses. Following evaluation of existing literature established through PubMed search, the authors concluded that rudimentary knowledge is the logical approach towards liver masses diagnosis, management, and follow-up.
The article by Boodt4 is a case study as illustrated by its title, “Incidental Findings: a Case Study of Benign Liver Masses.” In addition, the article used a real life case of a mid 50s asymptomatic woman, whose sonography showed that she had countless solid liver tumors. In other words, the woman was suffering from liver masses, thereby giving the research an opportunity to establish the research aims; that is, benign liver masses incidental findings. The article seeks to present a unique case study of the various benign liver masses; that is, liver cell adenomas (LCAs), focal nodular hyperplasias (FNHs), and hemangiomas. Although there is need for further research on the topic, the researchers concluded that individuals in developed nations have a minimal chance of suffering from benign liver masses at 10 to 20%.
The similarity established from the evaluation of the three articles is that their role was to exam the effectiveness of liver masses imaging. That is the diagnostic strategies applied while evaluating liver masses, which in the recent past has been a matter of concern in the medical community. This is as medical professionals attempt to establish ways through which liver masses can be diagnosed, managed as well as the appropriate follow-up techniques that will assist in monitoring the health condition. In an attempt to easy the imaging process of liver masses, the three articles included two lesions that were distinctly diagnosed and included focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH) and hemangiomas. These two lesions are diagnosed through an imaging approach that is unique from that used to diagnose other lesions examined during the evaluation process of liver masses.
There is a similarity amid Park et al2 and Bahirwani and Reddy3 as the two articles assert that it was difficult to differentiate amid malignant liver masses and benign liver masses, even with the application of the diverse strategies that aimed at helping them achieve the stipulated aims of their studies. Further, in their conclusion, Park et al2 and Bahirwani and Reddy3 assert that the results of the finding should be interpreted in a clinical context, meaning that the reassurance of the patient is crucial, as the medical professionals must explain clearly what they have diagnosed to limit the level of confusion and panic in their patients.
There is a variation on the aims of the three articles regardless of focusing on liver masses, in that the article by Park et al2 aimed at researching the diagnostic reaction of acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) elastrography, which qualify the stiffness of focal liver mass. Bahirwani and Reddy3 research aimed at offering a comprehensive review of commonly incidental liver masses and assist in identifying a strategy for liver masses evaluation and management. Lastly, the case study by Boodt4 aimed at identifying the effectiveness of sonography in benign liver masses, which are difficult to distinguish from malignant liver masses.
Moreover, the three articles showed diversity in the use of different liver masses imaging techniques. Part et al2 utilized Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) elastrography as the appropriate medical imaging technique for liver masses and established that, the technique resulted in differential diagnosis of liver masses. Carpenito 5assert that differential diagnosis is a strategy applied by medical professionals to assist them weigh the possibility of one health condition versus that of other health conditions that account for the patient’s illness. Thus, through differential diagnosis, healthcare practitioners establish the underlying health conditions attached to the diagnosed health condition of the patient.
On the other hand, Bahirwani and Reddy3 utilized secondary sources or existing literature on liver masses in an attempt to attain their stipulated goal of evaluating solitary liver masses. The results from their evaluation illustrated that benign liver masses were the most common although it was hard to differentiate them from malignant liver masses.
Boodt4 used sonography to carry out the case study, which involved evaluation of the case of a mid 50s asymptomatic woman whose medical history was essential for alloimmune thrombocytopenia, which began in her adolescence. The study was necessitated by the fact that her mother died at the same age from cholangiocarcinoma; thus, this situation enhanced the need for scan of the lady’s liver, in which sonography illustrated a hemangioma echogenic nodule characteristic in the right lobe.
Further, although the articles focus on the same topic, liver masses medical imaging, they present diverse conclusions. Park et al2 concluded that ARFI elastography; the medical imaging strategy that the research applied offered information for liver masses differential diagnosis. Nonetheless, with the overlapping ARFI values as established by the study, medical professionals are required to be careful in their interpretation. In other words, the research conclusion showed varying ARFI values, which means that ARFI elastrography should be used with another medical imaging strategy, for the medical professionals to have conclusive results, most especially while differentiating amid malignant liver masses and benign liver masses.
On the other hand, the research by Bahirwani and Reddy3 concluded that an appropriate medical imaging approach was necessary to assist in the diagnosis, management, and follow-up of cases involving liver masses. This followed a thorough evaluation of a number of existing literatures on the topic from PubMed search. This was an illustration that from their analysis, they did not establish a single medical imaging approach that was appropriate for liver masses, and most especially the incidental mass or benign liver masses, which according to their research was the most common. In addition, the research concluded that there was need for a rudimentary expertise in the presentation, laboratory and clinical features as well as the treatment options that were available for the health condition.
Boodt’s4 case study on the other hand, concluded that sonography alone was an inappropriate strategy to diagnose for liver masses and lesions as it failed to offer quality results concerning benign liver masses. The other establishment was that 10 to 20% of individuals in developed nations have benign liver tumors. However, this conclusion raises a question, how did a results of a study that focused on one asymptomatic mid 50s woman manage to make generalized conclusions about developed nations? The response to this question will assist in establishing whether the case study results and conclusion are valid.
The three articles contributed tremendously in my comprehension of liver masses and the diagnostic approaches applied to evaluate the same. Firstly, is the establishment that benign liver masses is the most common type of focal liver masses, which has raised the interest of medical scholars, who see to determine the efficiency of medical imaging. As Valentino6 asserts following the diagnosis of liver masses, the imaging process is utilized to help in the management and follow-up processes, which ensure that the treatment options are adequate for the focal liver masses. As illustrated by the various diagnostic imaging approaches applied by the three articles; ARFI elastrography, sonography and evaluation of existing literature to establish the strategies they applied to diagnose liver masses. The first article by Park et al2 offered an elaborate analysis of ARFI elastrography, which helped the researchers establish the aim of their study. Per se, the article added to existing study and helped bridge the literature gap concerning ARFI elastrography and the various amid benign liver masses and malignant liver masses. Nonetheless, in relation to the conclusions made by the three articles further research is necessary in order to offer an opportunity to examine areas that the articles were not conclusive.
I have learnt the diverse ways through which health research can be conducted to investigate a given topic, and in this case focal liver masses and its relation with the medical imaging. The three articles applied different research methods, whereby the first article was an original article in which the authors conducted primary research to establish their study aims. The reviewed article provided me the chance to establish a research method that applies secondary sources; in an attempt to establish the diverse research strategies they applied to attain their research aims. The authors of the reviewed article evaluated a number of existing literatures from PubMed search, which is a database that contains diverse research studies on medical issues. Lastly, the case study article gave me the chance to learn ways to present a case study and conduct a research. The case study present a real case of a patient that qualified to provide the research aims. I believe in the future I will be in a position to apply of the research techniques utilized in the three articles.
In conclusion, this paper sought to evaluate the
different medical research papers that focus on the same topic and the manner
in which they present their findings. The three articles evaluated included an
original report in which the authors conducted primary research and helped fill
the literature gap concerning focal liver masses. The second article was a peer
reviewed article, which is an article that has been evaluated by several
scholars, in an effort to scrutinize and establish whether it qualifies to be a
scholarly article. The last article evaluated was a case study, which focused
on a real case of liver masses and the diverse approaches that can be used to
diagnose and manage the medical condition.
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