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Sabel, Bastian O.; Plum, Jessica L.; Czihal, Michael; Lottspeich, Christian; Schönleben, Frank; Gäbel, Gabor; Schinner, Regina; Schöppe, Franziska; Meinel, Felix G. (2018): Structured Reporting of CT Angiography Runoff Examinations of the Lower Extremities. In: European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Vol. 55, No. 5: pp. 679-687
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Abstract

Objectives: The aim was to evaluate the effect of structured reporting of computed tomography angiography (CTA) runoff studies on clarity, completeness, clinical relevance, usefulness of the radiology reports, further testing, and therapy in patients with known or suspected peripheral arterial disease. Methods: Conventional reports (CRs) and structured reports (SRs) were generated for 52 patients who had been examined with a CTA runoff examination of the lower extremities. The sample size was based on power calculations with a power of 95% and a significance level of .007 (adjusted for multiple testing). CRs were dictated in a free text form;SRs contained a consistent ordering of observations with standardised subheadings. CRs were compared with SRs. Two vascular medicine specialists and two vascular surgeons rated the reports regarding their satisfaction with clarity, completeness, clinical relevance, and usefulness as well as overall satisfaction. Additionally, they made hypothetical decisions on further testing and therapy. Median ratings were compared using the Wilcoxon signed rank test and generalised linear mixed effects models. Results: SRs received higher ratings for satisfaction with clarity (median rating 9.0 vs. 7.0, p < .0001) and completeness (median rating 9.0 vs. 7.5, p < .0001) and were judged to be of greater clinical relevance (median rating 9.0 vs. 8.0, p < .0001) and usefulness (median rating 9.0 vs. 8.0, p < .0001). Overall satisfaction was also higher for SRs (median rating 9.0 vs. 7.0, p < .0001) than CRs. There were no significant differences in further testing or therapy. Conclusion: Referring clinicians perceive SRs of CTA runoff examinations of the lower extremities as offering superior clarity, completeness, clinical relevance, and usefulness than CRs. Structured reporting does not appear to alter further testing or therapy in patients with known or suspected peripheral arterial disease.