Appropriateness of knee MRI prescriptions: Clinical, economic and technical issues

F. M. Solivetti, A. Guerrisi, N. Salducca, F. Desiderio, D. Graceffa, G. Capodieci, P. Romeo, I. Sperduti, Stefano Canitano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives Many studies show that a large portion of medical prescriptions for diagnostic examinations may be not useful for patient’s management or unnecessary. Rapid technological advancement has made it possible for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to be increasingly used all over the world, particularly for musculoskeletal disorders. The aim of this study was to assess the appropriateness of the knee MRI prescriptions. Materials and methods A panel of experts found standard clinical practice guidelines in the management of knee disorders. Secondly, the finalized set of guidelines chosen was compared with the data of 400 patients who underwent previous knee MRIs, which were then reported in a specific questionnaire prepared by the authors. The rate of appropriateness of knee MRI prescriptions was then calculated. Results Almost 21% of prescriptions were totally inappropriate, 18.8% were uncertain, and 60.2% could be considered totally appropriate. The most frequent prescription indication was for meniscal disorders that account for 26.8% of the total indications. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that approximately 40% of the total prescriptions were totally inappropriate or uncertain and that most of these were made by general practitioners. In light of these results, the economic impact of inappropriate prescriptions on the Italian healthcare system has to be seriously considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-322
Number of pages8
JournalRadiologia Medica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Appropriateness criteria
  • Knee MRI
  • MR prescriptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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