METHODS: Secondary interpretations for computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance (MR), and ultrasound (US) abdominal studies performed outside our institution over a 7-month period were retrospectively compared to the primary (outside) interpretation, with interpretive differences recorded. Clinical notes, pathology and subsequent imaging determined ground truth diagnosis and the clinical impact of any interpretive discrepancies were graded as having high, medium, or little/no clinical impact. Interpretive comparisons were scored into categories: (1) no difference; (2) incidental findings of no clinical impact; (3) finding not reported; (4) significance of finding undercalled; (5) significance of finding overcalled; (6) finding misinterpreted; and (7) multiple discrepancy types in one report.
RESULTS: 398 report comparisons were reviewed on 380 patients. There were 300 CT, 60 MR, and 38 US examinations. The primary report had 5.0% (20/398) high clinical impact interpretive discrepancies and 7.5% (30/398) medium clinical impact discrepancies. The subspecialized secondary report had no high clinical impact discrepancies and 8/398 (2.0%) medium clinical impact discrepancies. In order of frequency, high and medium impact discrepancies in the primary report consisted of 50% overcalls, 26% unreported findings, 18% undercalls, 4% misinterpretations, and 2% multiple discrepancies.
CONCLUSIONS: Subspecialty review of abdominal imaging exams can provide clinical benefit. Half of the discrepancies in this series of abdominal reinterpretations were due to overcalls.
PURPOSE: The primary objective of this study was to determine the clinical impact and value of abdominal imaging reinterpretations by subspecialized abdominal imagers.
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