Does MRI Increase the Diagnostic Confidence of Physicians in an Outpatient Memory Clinic

Dement Geriatr Cogn Dis Extra. 2016 Jun 25;6(2):242-51. doi: 10.1159/000445711. eCollection 2016 May-Aug.


Background and aim: Data showing the usefulness of MRI to improve the accuracy of the diagnostic process in cognitive disorders were derived from studies in tertiary referral centers. MRI is widely used as a diagnostic tool in everyday practice, but it is unknown what the actual added value of MRI is. We studied the usefulness of MRI in the diagnostic process by measuring the change of confidence of the physician.

Methods: Physicians indicated confidence in their diagnosis before and after presentation of MR images using a visual analogue scale from 0-100%.

Results: Use of MRI increased the level of confidence by 3% in experienced clinicians and by 9% in inexperienced physicians. In 2/125 cases, MRI showed an unexpected finding.

Conclusion: MRI is a useful diagnostic tool in everyday practice of diagnosing cognitive disorders.

Keywords: Cognitive disorder; Diagnostic confidence; MRI; Visual analogue scale.