5 years ago

Structured reporting of MRI of the shoulder – improvement of report quality?

Thomas Henzler, Sebastian Gassenmaier, Marco Armbruster, Tobias Helfen, Florian Haasters, Nora N. Sommer, Wieland H. Sommer, Dominik Pförringer, Sedat Alibek



To evaluate the effect of structured reports (SRs) in comparison to non-structured narrative free text (NRs) shoulder MRI reports and potential effects of both types of reporting on completeness, readability, linguistic quality and referring surgeons’ satisfaction.


Thirty patients after trauma or with suspected degenerative changes of the shoulder were included in this study (2012–2015). All patients underwent shoulder MRI for further assessment and possible surgical planning. NRs were generated during clinical routine. Corresponding SRs were created using a dedicated template. All 60 reports were evaluated by two experienced orthopaedic shoulder surgeons using a questionnaire that included eight questions.


Eighty per cent of the SRs were fully complete without any missing key features whereas only 45% of the NRs were fully complete (p < 0.001). The extraction of information was regarded to be easy in 92% of the SRs and 63% of the NRs. The overall quality of the SRs was rated better than that of the NRs (p < 0.001).


Structured reporting of shoulder MRI improves the readability as well as the linguistic quality of radiological reports, and potentially leads to a higher satisfaction of referring physicians.

Key Points

Structured MRI reports of the shoulder improve readability.

Structured reporting facilitates information extraction.

Referring physicians prefer structured reports to narrative free text reports.

Structured MRI reports of the shoulder can reduce radiologist re-consultations.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00330-017-4778-z

DOI: 10.1007/s00330-017-4778-z

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