The nuclear cardiology report: problems, predictors, and improvement. A report from the ICANL database

J Nucl Cardiol. 2011 Oct;18(5):858-68. doi: 10.1007/s12350-011-9390-z. Epub 2011 Jun 17.


Background: The quality of nuclear cardiology reports is essential for the effective communication of results of cardiac radionuclide imaging and has never been evaluated for compliance with the ICANL standards. This retrospective study was designed to evaluate required reporting elements and site characteristics to determine differences in the compliance of applicant nuclear cardiology laboratories with The ICANL Standards, and identify potential mechanisms for improvement.

Methods and results: Site characteristics and the 18 elements of the ICANL nuclear cardiology reporting standard ranked by level of importance were evaluated in 1,301 labs applying for accreditation from 1/1/08 to 1/1/09. A majority of labs were non-compliant (57.2%) with ≥1 of the 18 elements, mean number of errors 2.13 ± 2.58. There were significant differences among applications with different accreditation decisions, first application and repeat applications, and region of the United States. Laboratories with multiple re-accreditations had significantly increased compliance. These findings were confirmed following analysis of the ranked importance of the non-compliant elements.

Conclusions: Nuclear cardiology reports have a high degree of non-compliance with the current ICANL standards. There were identifiable characteristics defining labs more likely to be non-compliant. Feedback from prior applications improves compliance with reporting standards on subsequent applications.

MeSH terms

  • Accreditation
  • Cardiology / standards*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Humans
  • Laboratories / standards
  • Nuclear Medicine / standards*
  • Retrospective Studies