Urologists recommend fewer follow-up imaging tests

June 24, 2010

A significant reduction in imaging use is apparent when urologists evaluate radiologist recommendations and then direct follow-up imaging, according to a recent study.

A significant reduction in imaging use is apparent when urologists evaluate radiologist recommendations and then direct follow-up imaging, according to a recent study.

Researchers from North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, Long Island, NY, and Urology Clinics of North Texas, Dallas, retrospectively reviewed consecutive radiology reports for 985 patients in two urologic practices. Imaging included computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasonography, and excretory urography. All imaging reports were analyzed for the radiologist recommendation for follow-up imaging and correlated with subsequent studies ordered by the urologist within 6 months of the original study.

Radiologists recommended follow-up studies in 202 of 985 reports (20.5%). A follow-up study was ordered for 65 of these 202 patients (32.2%). Urologists ordered studies for 87 of 783 patients (11.1%) for whom the radiologist did not make a recommendation. Overall, urologists ordered follow-up studies for 152 of 985 patients (15.4%), or 24.8% fewer studies than recommended by the radiologist, the authors reported.

Results from the study were published in the Journal of Urology (2010; 184:254-7).