Value of structured reporting in neuromuscular disorders
To assess whether structured reports (SRs) of MRI in patients with inherited neuromuscular disorders (IND) provide more clinically relevant information than non-structured reports (NSRs) and whether neuroradiologists’ expertise affects completeness of reports.
Material and methods
Lower limbs’ MRI reports of patients with IND produced by neuroradiologists with different level of expertise (> 15 years vs. < 15 years of experience in reading IND-MRI) before and after implementation of a SR template were included. Reports were assessed for the presence of 9 key features relevant for IND management. Reports and images were evaluated by neurologists who assessed: disease-specific muscular involvement pattern; presence of sufficient information to order the appropriate genetic/diagnostic tests; presence of sufficient information to make therapeutic decision/perform biopsy and necessity to review MRI images. Mann–Whitney and Fisher’s exact tests were used to compare the number of key features for NSR and SR and neurologists’ answers for reports produced by neuroradiologists with different experience.
Thirty-one SRs and 101 NSRs were reviewed. A median of 8 and 6 key features was present in SR and NSR, respectively (p value < 0.0001). When reports were produced by less expert neuroradiologists, neurologists recognized muscular involvement pattern, had sufficient information for clinical decision-making/perform biopsy more often with SR than NSR (p values: < 0.0001), and needed to evaluate images less often with SR (p value: 0.0001). When reports produced by expert neuroradiologists were evaluated, no significant difference in neurologists’ answers was observed.
SR of IND-MRI contained more often clinically relevant information considered important for disease management than NSR. Radiologist’s expertise affects completeness of NSR reports.
KeywordsMagnetic resonance imaging Neuromuscular diseases Limb-girdle muscular dystrophies Sarcoglycanopathies Structured reporting
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
For this type of study formal consent is not required.
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