Article Abstract

Multispecialty retrospective review of the clinical utility of pelvic magnetic resonance imaging in the setting of pelvic pain

Authors: John R. Moore, Ram A. Pathak, Caroline Snowden, Candice W. Bolan, Paul R. Young, Gregory A. Broderick

Abstract

Background: Pelvic pain is a common complaint, and management of it is often difficult. We sought to evaluate the utility of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the diagnosis of male pelvic pain. Though MRIs are commonly ordered to evaluate pelvic pain, there are very few studies obtaining the efficacy of pelvic MRI in determining a definitive diagnosis. The primary aim of our study was to evaluate the clinical utility of pelvic MRI for a diagnosis code that included pain.
Methods: After receiving institutional review board approval, a retrospective study was performed of all pelvic MRIs completed at our institution from January 2, 2010 to December 31, 2014. These were further delineated into ordering providers by specialty and urology-specific International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) code diagnoses (male pelvic pain, prostatitis, groin pain, scrotal pain, testicular pain, and penile pain). Clinical utility was defined as positive if MRI findings resulted in a change in management. Subanalysis was performed on patients with an ICD-9 co-diagnosis of previous oncologic concern.
Results: A total of 2,643 pelvic MRIs were ordered at our institution over a 5-year period. Of these, 597 pelvic MRIs (23%) were ordered for a diagnosis code that included pain (hip pain, rectal pain, joint pain, penile pain, scrotal pain, male pelvic pain and orchitis). Total utility for MRIs to find anatomic abnormalities potentially responsible for the present pain was 34% (205/597). When ordered by urologic providers, utility was 23%. Oncologists represented the highest positivity rate at 57%.
Conclusions: Chronic pelvic pain is a multispecialty complaint that is difficult to treat. We were surprised to find the large number of both specialists and generalists invested in the management of pelvic pain. The increasing availability of MRI technology makes it a likely candidate to test for a clinically significant anatomic reason for pain. Though MRI is a test with minimal adverse effect and no increased risk of radiation exposure, the cost on the healthcare system should be offset by a clear clinical utility. We found total utility to be 34% across all ordering providers and an increase in positivity with concern of oncologic disease. Therefore, we would recommend pelvic MRIs in the evaluation of patients with refractory pelvic pain.

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.