HealthDay News — There is substantial variability between radiologists and technologists in recommendation rates for additional imaging (RAI) during ultrasound interpretation, according to a study published in the October issue of the Journal of Clinical Ultrasound.
Nathaniel E. Margolis, MD, from New York University Langone Medical Center, and colleagues retrospectively reviewed 719 ultrasound reports from a single academic medical center for the presence of RAI. One of three abdominal radiologists had interpreted all studies. Examinations were performed at either an outpatient radiology facility with no on-site radiologist (n=299) or at an inpatient emergency department or hospital-based outpatient setting that had an on-site radiologist (n=420).
The researchers found that there were significant differences between each pair of radiologists in terms of overall frequency of RAI (P < 0.001; 12% for radiologist 1, 21.6% for radiologist 2, and 45.5% for radiologist 3). Studies scanned by the 10 different ultrasound technologists also yielded significant differences in the frequency of RAI (13.6% to 40%; P = 0.03). Frequency of RAI was not associated with patient age, patient sex, ultrasound unit, patient location, or radiologist location (P = 0.15-0.93).
“The observed substantial variability in RAI between radiologists and technologists warrants further study, with consideration of strategies to optimize RAI within ultrasound reports,” the authors write.