Article Image

Radiology Jargon That We Would Love to Use but Can’t

Op-Med is a collection of original articles contributed by Doximity members.

Radiology Jargon Defined

Radiology jargon that we use to describe our findings to our fellow clinicians and radiologists differs widely from what we have to put in out reports. If only we could use these words in the final dictation because these words are so much more picturesque and meaningful. In addition, they can replace a long-winded description with a simple phrase. Life would be so much more fun!!! Ohh, to be truly living the moment. But alas, we can’t do it for legal, moral, and ethical reasons. Perhaps, the words are too flippant. Or maybe, they are not grammatically correct. But what if we could? I’ve come up with a great glossary of thirteen words that should be in common usage that we do not dictate or write down for these reasons. So, here we go!

Badness/Pure Evil

There are some tumors that have such an aggressive configuration, these words definitely apply. Usually, these lesions are over 99% likely to be really malignant with a high probability of metastases.

Brain Teaser

You are dying to put this your dictation when you obtain the final diagnosis by complicated circuitous logic. However, it is just not allowed!

Cheesy Consistency

You know it when you see it. It is slightly higher density than fluid with small foci of air.


A tiny finding that is of no significant consequence.

Fecally Challenged

It’s what you say when you can’t say constipation because that is a clinical diagnosis. But, yet there is tons of poop everywhere!


Usually a proteinaceous mess within the body. It can be contained or free! I would love to use this one. It sounds so right…


An enormous finding that is of paramount importance.

Nightmare Case

Perfect descriptor for that case with a billion findings on CT scan usually with no oral and intravenous contrast. Problem is- who want’s to be called a nightmare?

Ring Magnet

A patient who has rings in almost every orifice imaginable. I am waiting for the right case to use this one!


It’s a breast ultrasound that is ordered as a diagnostic mammogram for a callback or finding but also includes the opposite breast for some unknown reason. Hence, the “Screen” part of the word.


The real story, not the long-winded boring version. It can be a word or phrase to replace the written history or impression. Direct translation from yiddish

Sweet Pickup

It’s what you like to say when you make a subtle but really important finding. Unfortunately, there is nowhere you can actually say it in your dictation! You have to rely on hearing it from others.

White Cow In A Snowstorm

It’s what you see when there is so much noise that the findings are impossible to visualize. Usually, it is present on an ultrasound in an obese patient, an underpenetrated film, or a study with tons of artifacts.


My name is Barry Julius, MD, a practicing radiologist and founder/chief editor of I have created a credible, reliable, and informative site that is dedicated to radiology residents, students, program directors, staff, and physicians interested in radiology residency related topics.

All opinions published on Op-Med are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of Doximity or its editors. Op-Med is a safe space for free expression and diverse perspectives. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email

More from Op-Med