Most Image Recalls Are For MRIs

MRI dominates list of modalities responsible for patient recalls in an outpatient setting, study shows.

Image recalls are most often related to the acquisition of MR images, according to the findings of one facility in a study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Researchers from the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York performed a retrospective review to assess the rate of patient recalls for all imaging performed in their institution’s outpatient setting, and to characterize the underlying reasons for the recalls. The images were obtained between January 2012 and March 2015.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"45985","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_2740186468146","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"5297","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"height: 136px; width: 120px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 1px; float: right;","title":"©RSNA 2015","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

The researchers identified 100 recall requests: one out of 8,046 ambulatory studies and one in 1,684 MRI studies. Ninety-five percent of the recalls were for MRI studies, and 98% of all recalls involved adults.

Cause for recallNumber of patients
Incomplete examination24%
Inadequate coverage of the area of interest22%
Protocol errors20%
Poor imaging quality15%
Additional imaging to clarify a finding11%
Insufficient contrast visualization7%
Incorrect patient information1%

The researchers concluded that while imaging recalls were not common in their facility’s outpatient setting, those that did occur were usually related to acquisition of MR images. 

“Improved technologist education on MRI protocoling and enhanced communication between ordering clinicians and radiologists to clarify the purpose of imaging might reduce the need for repeat ambulatory imaging,” they wrote.