Clinical importance of second-opinion interpretations by radiologists specializing in gynecologic oncology at a tertiary cancer center: magnetic resonance imaging for endometrial cancer staging
Abstract Objective: To determine whether there are substantive differences between the initial interpretations of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans acquired at outside facilities and the second-opinion interpretations of radiologists specializing in gynecologic oncology at a tertiary cancer center, among patients referred for endometrial cancer staging. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective, comparative analysis of 153 initial and second-opinion MRI reports for endometrial cancer staging officially submitted for review by radiologists specializing in gynecologic oncology. For each case, the relationship between the initial and second-opinion reports, regarding the suggested diagnosis and the clinically relevant MRI findings reported, was categorized as "agreement" or "disagreement". Histopathology was used in order to establish the definitive diagnosis. Results: Disagreement was found in 58 (37.9%) of the 153 cases. Second-opinion interpretations reported findings that affected the preoperative cancer staging and could have led to a change in treatment in 38 cases (24.8%); that did not affect the preoperative staging but provided information that was more accurate in 8 (5.2%); and that suggested a new cancer diagnosis in 12 (7.8%). In 37 cases (24.2%), there was a potential for changes in patient care. Among the 58 cases of disagreement, a definitive (histopathological) diagnosis was made in 41 (70.7%). In 31 (75.6%) of those 41 cases, the second-opinion report was more accurate than was the initial report. Conclusion: Discordant interpretations of MRI examinations, which can have a substantial effect on the clinical management of patients, appear to be common.