Does Second Reader Opinion Affect Patient Management in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma?

Giuseppe Corrias, Sandra Huicochea Castellanos, Ryan Merkow, Russel Langan, Vinod Balachandran, Monica Ragucci, Gabriella Carollo, Marcello Mancini, Luca Saba, Lorenzo Mannelli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives: To determine the impact of second-opinion assessment on cancer staging and patient management in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Methods and Materials: This retrospective study was approved by our institutional review board with a waiver of informed consent. Second-opinion reports between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2013, alongside outside reports for 65 consecutive cases of biopsy-proven pancreatic adenocarcinomas, were presented in random order to two experienced abdominal surgeons who independently reviewed them blinded to the origin of the report, images of the examinations, and patient identifier. Each surgeon filled in a questionnaire for each report recommending cancer staging and patient management. Recommended patient management and staging were evaluated against reference standards (actual patient management at 6 months following second-opinion assessment, and pathology or other clinical and imaging reference standards at 6 months or longer, respectively) using Cohen kappa. Results: Cancer staging differed in 13% (9 of 65) of cases for surgeon 1 and in 18.4% (12 of 65) for surgeon 2. Patient management changed in 38.4% (25 of 65) of cases for surgeon 1 and in 20% (13 of 65) for surgeon 2. When compared to the pathologic staging gold standard, second opinion was correct in 85.7% (six of seven) of the time for both surgeons. Recommended patient management from second-opinion reports showed good agreement with the reference standard (weighted K = 0.6467 [0.4014–0.892] and weighted K = 0.6262 [0.3954–0.857] for surgeon 2). Conclusion: Second-opinion review by subspecialized oncologic radiologists can impact patient care, specifically in terms of management decision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)825-832
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • CT
  • MRI
  • Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
  • cancer staging
  • second opinion report
  • subspecialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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