OBJECTIVE: 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.
RESULTS: 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.
CONCLUSION: 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.