Clinical guidance for MRI referral

Information about MRI referrals and reports

MRI reports

Understanding how radiologists are advised to write reports may help GPs to get the most from imaging reports. According to the RANZCR Radiology written report guideline,3 each imaging report should:

  • address the clinical question or clearly state why this is not possible
  • provide a diagnosis or differential diagnosis and, where a number of possibilities exist, state them and describe their relative likelihood
  • provide a concise, clinically contextualised interpretation of the previously described imaging observations. If findings are normal or non-significant, this should be stated explicitly
  • recommend further imaging, investigations, referral or treatment, where indicated. The report should describe:
    • how it is expected that this will contribute to the diagnosis and/or management of the patient’s current medical problem
    • the exact nature of the further investigation/referral/treatment that is recommended
    • the suggested timing of this further investigation/referral/treatment if relevant, especially if this is urgent.
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