Radiology report language positively influences adrenal incidentaloma guideline adherence

Jessica Watari, Shivani Vekaria, Yong Lin, Manank Patel, Hyon Kim, Francis Kang, Sara Lubitz, Toni Beninato, Amanda M. Laird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Adrenal incidentalomas are common radiographic findings. Guidelines recommend biochemical and radiographic surveillance of adrenal incidentalomas. We investigated if patients were appropriately referred for outpatient evaluation. Methods: Retrospective chart review was performed to identify patients with adrenal masses on imaging between November 7, 2016 and November 7, 2017. Demographic information, medical history, and outpatient referral information was collected. Results: 11,723 computed tomography (CT) scans of the chest and/or abdomen/pelvis were performed. 246 patients were noted to have adrenal incidentalomas and met inclusion criteria. The CT report recommended follow-up in 63/246 cases (25.6%). 38/246 (15.4%) patients were referred for evaluation. Age, adrenal nodule size, and type of evaluating provider did not affect referral. A radiology report recommending follow-up was associated with increased referral rate (OR 5.441, 95% CI: 2.491–11.887). Conclusion: There was low outpatient referral for adrenal incidentalomas. Language in the radiology report significantly influenced referral rates and may be an important resource for improving guideline adherence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-236
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


  • Adrenal incidentaloma
  • Adrenal mass
  • Adrenal nodules


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