Image Interpretation by radiographers in brain, spine and knee MRI examinations: Findings from an accredited postgraduate module

Journal article


Lockwood, P. and Dolbear, G. 2018. Image Interpretation by radiographers in brain, spine and knee MRI examinations: Findings from an accredited postgraduate module. Radiography. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2018.05.009
AuthorsLockwood, P. and Dolbear, G.
Abstract

Introduction:
The aim of the study was to evaluate the performance of radiographers in image interpretation of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain, spine and knee examinations following a nine-month work based postgraduate MRI module.

Methods:
Twenty-seven participants each submitted 60 image commentaries taken from prospective clinical workloads. The image interpretations (n=1,620) comprised brain, spine, and knee MRI examinations. Prevalence of abnormal examinations approximated 53% (brain), 74% (spine), and 73% (knee), and included acute and chronic pathology, normal variants and incidental findings. Each image interpretation was graded against reference standard consultant radiologist definitive report.

Results: The radiographer’s performance on brain image interpretations demonstrated mean accuracy at 86.7% (95% CI 83.4-89.3) with sensitivity and specificity of 84% (95% CI 80.9-86.4) and 89.7% (95% CI 86.2-92.6) respectively. For spinal interpretations the mean accuracy was 86.4% (95% CI 83.4-89.0), sensitivity was 90.2% (95% CI 88.2-92), mean specificity was 75.3% (95% CI 69.4-80.4). The mean results for knee interpretation accuracy were 80.9% (95% CI 77.3-84.1), sensitivity was 83.3% (95% CI 80.8-85.5), with 74.3% specificity (95% CI 67.4-80.4).
Conclusions: The radiographer’s demonstrated skills in brain, spine and knee MRI examination image interpretation. These skills are not to replace radiologist reporting but to meet regulating body standards of proficiency, and to assist decision making in communicating unexpected serious findings, and /or extend scan range and sequences. Further research is required to investigate the impact of these skills on adjusting scan protocols or flagging urgent findings in clinical practice.

KeywordsImage interpretation; magnetic resonance imaging; diagnostic radiographers
Year2018
JournalRadiography
PublisherElsevier
ISSN1078-8174
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2018.05.009
Publication dates
Online06 Jun 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited08 Jun 2018
Accepted23 May 2018
Accepted author manuscript
License
Output statusPublished
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