Second opinions in orthopedic oncology imaging: can fellowship training reduce clinically significant discrepancies?
To determine factors that lead to significant discrepancies in second-opinion consultation of orthopedic oncology patients, and particularly if musculoskeletal fellowship training can decrease clinically significant discrepancies.
A PACS database was queried for secondary reads on outside cross-sectional imaging studies, as requested by orthopedic oncology from 2014 to 2017. Comparison of original and secondary reports was performed using a published seven-point scale that defines clinically significant discrepancies. An online search was performed for each original radiologist to record if a fellowship in musculoskeletal imaging was completed. Additionally, years of post-residency experience, number of Medicare part B patients billed per year (marker of practice volume), and average hierarchical condition category for each radiologist (marker of practice complexity) was recorded.
A total of 571 patients met the inclusion criteria, with 184 cases initially interpreted by an outside fellowship trained musculoskeletal (MSK) radiologist and 387 cases initially interpreted by a non-MSK trained radiologist. The rate of clinically significant discrepancy was 9.2% when initially interpreted by MSK radiologists compared with 27.9% when initially performed by non-MSK radiologists (p < 0.05). After adjustment by both patient characteristics and radiologist characteristics, the likelihood of clinically significant discrepancies was greater for initial interpretations by non-MSK radiologists compared with MSK radiologists (OR = 1.36; 95% CI = 1.23–2.49).
In orthopedic oncology patients, the rate of clinically significant discrepancies was significantly higher when initially interpreted by non-MSK radiologists compared with MSK radiologists. The lower rate of clinically significant discrepancies demonstrates that subspecialty training may direct more appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
KeywordsSecond opinion Oncology Fellowship Discrepancy Musculoskeletal
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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