Association of standardized radiology reporting and management of abdominal CT and MRI with diagnosis of pancreatic cancer
Background & aims: Follow-up of abdominal computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings suspicious for pancreatic cancer may be delayed if documentation is unclear. We evaluated whether standardized reporting and follow-up of imaging results reduced time to diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
Methods: We used a quasi-experimental stepped-wedge cluster design to evaluate the effectiveness of newly implemented radiology reporting system. The system standardizes the reporting of CT and MRI reports using hashtags that classify pancreatic findings. The system also automates referral of patients with findings suspicious for pancreatic cancer to a multidisciplinary care team for rapid review and follow-up. The study examined 318,331 patients who underwent CT or MRI that included the abdomen during 2016 through 2019 who had not had an eligible CT or MRI in the preceding 24 months. We evaluated the association of the intervention with incidence of pancreatic cancer within 60 days and 120 days after imaging.
Results: 38% of patients received the intervention and 1,523 (0.48%) patients were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In multivariable analysis accounting for age, race/ethnicity, sex, Charlson comorbidity, history of cancer, diabetes, and 4-month calendar period, the intervention was associated with nearly 50% greater odds of diagnosing pancreatic cancer within 60 days (adjusted OR, 1.47, 95% CI, 1.05-2.06) and 120 days (adjusted OR, 1.46, 95% CI, 1.04-2.06).
Conclusions: In this large quasi-experimental community-based observational study, implementation standardized reporting of abdominal CT and MRI reports with clinical navigation was effective for increasing the detection and diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
Keywords: Pancreas; computed tomography; health services rese