I read something similar to this on the radiologist's report for a chest/abdominal CT scan with contrast, in a section headed "NARRATIVE" and a sub-section headed "HISTORY." This is the only content in that sub-section:
Patient history with observations r/o exampletotis r/o madupitis.
A little web searching found me a handful of dictionaries that tell me the "r/o" abbreviation means "rule out" but none of them told me whether this is a conclusion or an instruction, or grammatically, whether the verb "rule" is being used in a declarative or imperative sense.
To be more explicit, in which of the two following ways should I interpret the report?
Based on the patient's history and what is seen in this scan, exampletotis and madupitis have been ruled out.
Based on the patient's history and what is seen in this scan, patient and his physician should pursue additional means in order to rule out exampletotis and madupitis.
Further background: The patient in question has a follow-up scheduled with the physician and will likely have an answer in a month or so anyway, but I'd like to clear up confusion in the interim and perhaps benefit others looking for the same information.