In the management of several abdominal disorders, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has the potential to significantly improve patient's outcome due to its diagnostic accuracy leading to more appropriate treatment choice. However, its clinical value heavily relies on the quality and quantity of diagnostic information that radiologists manage to convey through their reports. To solve issues such as ambiguity and lack of comprehensiveness that can occur with conventional narrative reports, the adoption of structured reporting has been proposed. Using a checklist and standardized lexicon, structured reports are designed to increase clarity while assuring that all key imaging findings related to a specific disorder are included. Unfortunately, structured reports have their limitations too, such as risk of undue report simplification and poor template plasticity. Their adoption is also far from widespread, and probably the ideal balance between radiologist autonomy and report consistency of has yet to be found. In this article, we aimed to provide an overview of structured reporting proposals for abdominal MRI and of works assessing its value in comparison to conventional free-text reporting. While for several abdominal disorders there are structured templates that have been endorsed by scientific societies and their adoption might be beneficial, stronger evidence confirming their imperativeness and added value in terms of clinical practice is needed, especially regarding the improvement of patient outcome.
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