CT colonography: accuracy of initial interpretation by radiographers in routine clinical practice.

Intestinal Imaging Centre, St Mark's Hospital, Harrow, Middlesex, UK.
Clinical Radiology (Impact Factor: 1.66). 02/2010; 65(2):126-32. DOI: 10.1016/j.crad.2009.09.011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To investigate performance of computed-assisted detection (CAD)-assisted radiographers interpreting computed tomography colonography (CTC) in routine practice.
Three hundred and three consecutive symptomatic patients underwent CTC. Examinations were double-read by trained radiographers using primary two-dimensional/three-dimensional (2D/3D) analysis supplemented by "second reader" CAD. Radiographers recorded colonic neoplasia, interpretation times, and patient management strategy code (S0, inadequate; S1, normal; S2, 6-9 mm polyp; S3, > or = 10 mm polyp; S4, cancer; S5, diverticular stricture) for each examination. Strategies were compared to the reference standard using kappa statistic, interpretation times using paired t-test, learning curves using logistic regression and Pearson's correlation coefficient.
Of 303 examinations, 69 (23%) were abnormal. CAD-assisted radiographers detected 17/17 (100%) cancers, 21/28 (72%) polyps > or = 10 mm and 42/60 (70%) 6-9 mm polyps. The overall agreement between radiographers and the reference management strategy was good (kappa 0.72; CI: 0.65, 0.78) with agreement for S1 strategy in 189/211 (90%) exams; S2 in 19/27 (70%); S3 in 12/19 (63%); S4 in 17/17 (100%); S5 in 5/6 (83%). The mean interpretation time was 17 min (SD = 11) compared with 8 min (SD = 3.5) for radiologists. There was no learning curve for recording correct strategies (OR 0.88; p = 0.12) but a significant reduction in interpretation times, mean 14 and 31 min (last/first 50 exams; -0.46; p < 0.001).
Routine CTC interpretation by radiographers is effective for initial triage of patients with cancer, but independent reporting is currently not recommended.

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