Quantitative Improvement in Brain Tumor MRI Through Structured Reporting (BT-RADS)

Acad Radiol. 2020 Jun;27(6):780-784. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2019.07.028. Epub 2019 Aug 27.


Rationale and objectives: Determine the objective benefits of structured reporting of brain tumors through Brain tumor-RADS (BT-RADS) by analyzing discrete quantifiable metrics of the reports themselves.

Materials and methods: Following Institutional Review Board approval, post-treatment glioma reports were acquired from two matched 3-month time periods for pre- and postimplementation of BT-RADS. The reports were analyzed for presence of history words, such as "Avastin" and "methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase," as well as hedge words, such as "Possibly" and "Likely." The word counts of the total report and of the impression section were also assessed, as well as whether or not the report contained addenda.

Results: In total, 211 pre-BT-RADS and 172 post-BT-RADS reports were analyzed. Post-BT-RADS reports demonstrated greater reporting of history words, including "Avastin" (7.6% vs. 20.9%, p < 0.001) and "methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase" (10.9% vs. 31.4%, p < 0.0001). They also demonstrated reduced usage of hedge words, including "Possibly" (3.8% vs. 0.6%, p < 0.05) and "Likely" (49.8% vs. 28.5%, p < 0.01). Furthermore, post-BT-RADS reports possessed fewer words in total report length (389 vs. 245.2, p < 0.001), as well as in the impression section (53.7 vs. 42.6, p < 0.01). Finally, fewer post-BT-RADS reports contained addenda (10% vs. 1.2%, p < 0.01).

Conclusion: Following implementation of BT-RADS, glioma reports demonstrated greater consistency and completeness of clinical history, less ambiguity, and more conciseness.

Keywords: Evidence-based Medicine; Gliomas; Quality Improvement; Structured Template; Value-based Care.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Radiation Dosage