La radiologia medica

, Volume 124, Issue 7, pp 628–635 | Cite as

Value of structured reporting in neuromuscular disorders

  • Francesco AlessandrinoEmail author
  • Lara Cristiano
  • Claudia Maria Cinnante
  • Tommaso Tartaglione
  • Simonetta Gerevini
  • Tommaso Verdolotti
  • Giovanna Stefania Colafati
  • Emanuele Ghione
  • Raimondo Vitale
  • Lorenzo Peverelli
  • Claudia Brogna
  • Angela Berardinelli
  • Maurizio Moggio
  • Eugenio M. Mercuri
  • Anna Pichiecchio



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.


Magnetic 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.

Ethical approval

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.

Informed consent

For this type of study formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Medical Radiology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Alessandrino
    • 1
    • 11
    Email author
  • Lara Cristiano
    • 2
    • 3
  • Claudia Maria Cinnante
    • 4
  • Tommaso Tartaglione
    • 2
    • 3
  • Simonetta Gerevini
    • 5
  • Tommaso Verdolotti
    • 2
  • Giovanna Stefania Colafati
    • 6
  • Emanuele Ghione
    • 1
  • Raimondo Vitale
    • 1
  • Lorenzo Peverelli
    • 7
  • Claudia Brogna
    • 8
  • Angela Berardinelli
    • 9
  • Maurizio Moggio
    • 7
  • Eugenio M. Mercuri
    • 8
  • Anna Pichiecchio
    • 1
    • 10
  1. 1.Neuroradiology DepartmentIRCCS C. Mondino FoundationPaviaItaly
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyUniversità Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario “A. Gemelli”RomeItaly
  3. 3.Radiology UnitIstituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata-IRCCS-FLMMRomeItaly
  4. 4.Neuroradiology UnitFondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore PoliclinicoMilanItaly
  5. 5.Unit of NeuroradiologyIRCCS San Raffaele Scientific InstituteMilanItaly
  6. 6.Neuroradiology Unit, Department of ImagingIRCCS Bambino Gesù Children’s HospitalRomeItaly
  7. 7.Neuromuscular and Rare Diseases Unit, Department of NeuroscienceFondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore PoliclinicoMilanItaly
  8. 8.Pediatric Neurology and Nemo Clinical CentreUniversità Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario “A. Gemelli”RomeItaly
  9. 9.Child and Adolescent UnitIRCCS C. Mondino FoundationPaviaItaly
  10. 10.Department of Brain and Behavioural NeuroscienceUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly
  11. 11.Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical SchoolBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA

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