Palwasha Gul, Muhammad Omer Altaf, Pari Gul, Imran Niazi, Waqas Ahmad, Talha Yaseen kaimkhani


Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare the impact of structured reports (SRs) vs non-structured (NS) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) reports in patients with histologically proven rectal cancer. Effects of both types of reporting on completeness of report, clinical decision making, staging, linguistic quality, interdisciplinary communication etc were studied.


Materials and Methods:  All patients underwent rectal MRI at 1.5T for local rectal cancer staging before surgery/neoadjuvant radio-chemotheraphy. Two patients with histopathologically proven carcinoma of rectum were selected randomly from Hospital information system (HIS) and images were studied from DICOM for structured reports. Non structured reports (NSR) of two selected patients were already generated under clinical routine practice by fellows and consultants.  Structured reports of these patients were generated by two fellow radiologists. 18 clinicians and 9 radiologists evaluated a questionnaire regarding SRs vs NSRs that included 9 parameters like clarity, content, tumor stage etc. The clinicians and radiologists further scored these parameters from very satisfied to very dissatisfied on likert scale. The institutional review board approved this retrospective study.


Results: Structured reports achieved significantly higher satisfaction rates between radiologists, however clinicians were more in favour of NSR. Clinicians however were also satisfied and very satisfied regarding some of the parameters of SR but overall felt that SR are dissatisfying with regard to clarity, linguistic quality and were more time consuming.


Conclusions :

Despite of the fact that most of the recent studies showed higher accuracy of SR, it is still not in widespread use in most of the set ups including ours.  It might be challenging and will still take more time to replace NSR completely.


Key words: structured, reports, MRI, Rectal carcinoma.

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