Radiologists’ recommendations for additional imaging (RAI) in the inpatient setting

  • Ettore SquillaciEmail author
  • Francesca Bolacchi
  • Francesca Ricci
  • Vincenzo De Stasio
  • Luca Pugliese
  • Arezia Di Martino
  • Roberto Floris



The aim of our study was to measure the rate of radiologists’ additional recommended imaging examinations (RAI) at a hospital-based inpatient setting and to estimate the influence on RAI of clinical variables.

Materials and methods

This retrospective study was approved by the institutional review board. Inpatients CT and US examinations interpreted by fifteen radiologists between October and December 2016 were studied. Information about RAI from radiology report texts was extracted manually. The analytic data set included the interpreting radiologists’ years of experience, patient age, patient gender, radiologist gender, ordering service and “clinical question to be answered” as collected from the radiology request forms.


Of the 1996 US and CT examinations performed between October and December 2016 in the inpatient setting, 34% (683 examinations) had a radiologists’ RAI. The largest proportion of RAI was for chest CT, followed by PET-CT, abdominal CT and abdominal MRI. Patient age and gender had no impact on RAI. Radiologists’ years of experience were inversely correlated to RAI. “Pneumonia” showed the highest rate of RAI due to follow-up of lung nodules.


A high percentage of RAI resulted from CT and US radiologists’ reports. The largest proportion of RAI was for chest CT, followed by PET-CT, abdominal CT, and abdominal MRI. Radiologists’ years of experience play an important role in the number of the requested RAI. Further studies with a larger cohort of radiologists are needed to confirm the role of radiologists’ experience in RAI. Also, follow-up studies are warranted to assess the number of RAI that are actually acted upon by the referring physicians.


PET-CT MRI CT Recommendation Radiology reporting Inpatient setting 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

This study was approved and waived for patients’ consents by the institutional review board (IRB). The study has been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. Details that might disclose the identity of the subjects under study were omitted.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Medical Radiology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fondazione PTV Policlinico Tor VergataRomeItaly

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