(HealthDay News) — Quality improvement interventions can improve the identification of adnexal cystic lesion characteristics as well as the appropriateness of follow-up recommendations for pelvic ultrasound exam findings, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Jamie S. Hui, MD, from the Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, and colleagues evaluated two quality improvement interventions, including education for ultrasound radiologists and sonographers (in 2008) and implementation of a national consensus guideline on adnexal cysts (in 2011). Evaluations of 252 pelvic ultrasound exams were conducted from baseline (in 2006) and following each intervention.

The researchers found that 23% of the 2006 baseline ultrasound exams reported adnexal lesion and 12% recommended follow-up. More than half of those recommended for follow-up (55%) were physiologic or benign. After the 2008 intervention, 28% of 214 pelvic ultrasound exams reported an adnexal lesion, with 8% recommending follow-up. After the 2011 intervention, 22% of 296 pelvic ultrasound exams reported an adnexal lesion, with 5% recommending follow-up.

“Through a quality initiative aimed at appropriate description and follow-up recommendations for adnexal cystic lesions identified at ultrasound, we effectively reduced unnecessary imaging referrals,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the imaging industry.

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