Development and validation of queries using structured query language (SQL) to determine the utilization of comparison imaging in radiology reports stored on PACS

J Digit Imaging. 2006 Mar;19(1):52-68. doi: 10.1007/s10278-005-7667-y.


The purpose of this research was to develop queries that quantify the utilization of comparison imaging in free-text radiology reports. The queries searched for common phrases that indicate whether comparison imaging was utilized, not available, or not mentioned. The queries were iteratively refined and tested on random samples of 100 reports with human review as a reference standard until the precision and recall of the queries did not improve significantly between iterations. Then, query accuracy was assessed on a new random sample of 200 reports. Overall accuracy of the queries was 95.6%. The queries were then applied to a database of 1.8 million reports. Comparisons were made to prior images in 38.69% of the reports (693,955/1,793,754), were unavailable in 18.79% (337,028/1,793,754), and were not mentioned in 42.52% (762,771/1,793,754). The results show that queries of text reports can achieve greater than 95% accuracy in determining the utilization of prior images.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Database Management Systems*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Information Storage and Retrieval / methods*
  • Natural Language Processing*
  • Radiology Information Systems*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Software