Diagnostic accuracy of magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance arthrography of the hip is dependent on specialist training of the radiologist

Skeletal Radiol. 2012 Jun;41(6):659-65. doi: 10.1007/s00256-011-1266-4. Epub 2011 Sep 14.


Objective: Significant differences between magnetic resonance imaging reports and intraoperative findings at the time of hip arthroscopy were documented in our practice. We sought to examine the accuracy of radiological reporting of hip pathology based on the training level of the reporting radiologist.

Materials and methods: A retrospective review of hip arthroscopies carried out between July 2008 and June 2009 identified 61 cases where original MRI scans had been reported by general community radiologists. These scans were then reviewed by musculoskeletal specialist radiologists who were blinded to both the original report and the surgical findings. Accuracy of both subsets of radiologists was compared to arthroscopic findings with regard to labral, acetabular, femoral and impingement lesions.

Results: Musculoskeletal radiologists performed better than community radiologists in terms of overall accuracy. Accuracy rates for MSK radiologists were 85, 79, 59, and 82% for labral, acetabular chondrosis, and femoral chondrosis and impingement lesions, respectively. Whereas accuracy rates for community radiologists were 70, 28, 52, and 59% (p values = 0.08, <0.001, 0.59, <0.001). Accuracy was significantly improved for both groups of radiologists when MR arthrograms were reviewed rather than conventional MRIs.

Conclusions: This study establishes the relationship between accuracy of reporting and the training level of the performing radiologists.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hip Joint / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Ireland / epidemiology
  • Joint Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Joint Diseases / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Observer Variation
  • Professional Competence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Radiology / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity