Do radiologists agree when reviewing ultrasound examinations performed by a sonographer and a radiologist?
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Background: Ultrasound examinations are usually performed by a radiologist or, in suitable cases, by a sonographer or radiographer. Standardized scanning protocols and cine-loop documentation may permit the transfer of tasks from a radiologist to a sonographer or radiographer.
Purpose: To study the diagnostic variability in standardized ultrasound examinations of the kidney by comparing inter-reader agreement between two radiologists who reviewed examinations acquired by a sonographer and a radiologist, as well as inter-operator agreement between the sonographer and the radiologist.
Material and methods: After approval by the local research ethics committee, 98 adult patients, aged from 18 to 92, referred for diagnostic renal sonographic examination and were prospectively enrolled. Both kidneys were imaged using standardized scanning protocols, and the entire examination was documented with cine-loops. Two radiologists reviewed the examinations for different types of pathology, including tumors, cysts, decreased cortical thickness, increased echogenicity and hydronephrosis. Inter-reader and inter-operator agreement was evaluated with kappa coefficient and intra-class correlation.
Results: The most common finding was cysts, which were found in 32 to 40 cases. Tumors were found in three to 10 cases. With one exception, the kappa values for inter-operator agreement (0.65–1.00) were higher than those for inter-reader agreement (0.31–1.00). With two exceptions, no systematic differences between operators or between observers were found.
Conclusion: Using a standardized cine-loop technique, we found slightly better interoperator agreement than inter-reader agreement. This suggests that it may be easier to exchange an operator than to exchange a reader.
Cine-loop imaging, renal sonography, agreement
Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-124674OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-124674DiVA: diva2:901975