Comparing preliminary and final neuroradiology reports: What factors determine the differences?

K. Stankiewicz, M. Cohen, M. Carone, G. Sevinc, Paul G Nagy, J. S. Lewin, David Mark Yousem, L. S. Babiarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Trainees' interpretations of neuroradiologic studies are finalized by faculty neuroradiologists. We aimed to identify the factors that determine the degree to which the preliminary reports are modified. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The character length of the preliminary and final reports and the percentage character change between the 2 reports were determined for neuroradiology reports composed during November 2012 to October 2013. Examination time, critical finding flag, missed critical finding flag, trainee level, faculty experience, imaging technique, and native-versus-non-native speaker status of the reader were collected. Multivariable linear regression models were used to evaluate the association between mean percentage character change and the various factors. RESULTS: Of 34,661 reports, 2322 (6.7%) were read by radiology residents year 1; 4429 (12.8%), by radiology residents year 2; 3663 (10.6%), by radiology residents year 3; 2249 (6.5%), by radiology residents year 4; and 21,998 (63.5%), by fellows. The overall mean percentage character change was 14.8% (range, 0%-701.8%; median, 6.6%). Mean percentage character change increased for a missed critical finding (+41.6%, P≤ .0001), critical finding flag (+1.8%, P≤.001), MR imaging studies (+3.6%, P≤.001), and non-native trainees (+4.2%, P=.018). Compared with radiology residents year 1, radiology residents year 2 (-5.4%, P=.002), radiology residents year 3 (-5.9%, P=.002), radiology residents year 4 (-8.2%, P ≤ .001), and fellows (-8.7%; P ≤ .001) had a decreased mean percentage character change. Senior faculty had a lower mean percentage character change (-6.88%, P≤.001). Examination time and non-native faculty did not affect mean percentage character change. CONCLUSIONS: A missed critical finding, critical finding flag, MR imaging technique, trainee level, faculty experience level, and nonnative-Trainee status are associated with a higher degree of modification of a preliminary report. Understanding the factors that influence the extent of report revisions could improve the quality of report generation and trainee education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1977-1982
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology

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