Structured Reporting in Multiple Sclerosis Reduces Interpretation Time

Published:August 28, 2020DOI:

      Rationale and Objectives

      Previous studies have reported mixed results regarding whether the use of structured reporting (SR) leads to a change in interpretation times. The objective of this study was to quantify any change in interpretation times after the implementation of SR for multiple sclerosis (MS) follow-up magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain.

      Materials and Methods

      Interpretation times before and after the transition to MS MRI SR were compared over a 5-year period. To control for changing practice patterns, a control group of non-MS (intracranial masses) reports not using SR was also assessed. In a secondary analysis, interpretation times for 2D and 3D MRI MS protocols after the initiation of SR were compared to determine whether increased image number with the 3D protocol affected interpretation times.


      Mean and median interpretation times before the initiation of SR for MS MRI were 11.0 and 8.0 minutes versus 8.5 and 6.0 minutes after the implementation of SR (p < 0.001). Although non-MS MRI interpretation times also decreased, an interaction analysis demonstrated that the decrease in MS interpretation times was significantly higher (p < 0.001). Mean and median interpretation times using 3D protocols were slighter increased compared to interpretation times with 2D protocols (p = 0.036).


      After the implementation of SR for MS follow-up MRI at our institution, interpretation times significantly decreased despite the increased number of images with some of the examinations due to the adoption of 3D protocols. The adoption of SR for MS MRI follow-up scans may improve radiologist efficiency.

      Key Words

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