CT colonography: accuracy of initial interpretation by radiographers in routine clinical practice.
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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ABSTRACT: Computed tomography colonography (CTC) is the primary radiological test for the detection of colorectal tumours and precancerous polyps. Radiographer reporting of CTC examinations could help to improve the provision of this expanding service. We undertook a systematic review to assess the accuracy with which radiographers can provide formal written reports on intraluminal disease entities of CTC examinations compared to a reference standard. Data sources searched included online databases, peer-reviewed journals, grey literature, and reference and citation tracking. Eligible studies were assessed for bias, and data were extracted on study characteristics. Pooled estimates of sensitivities and specificities and chi-square tests of heterogeneity were calculated. Eight studies were eligible for inclusion with some risk to bias. Pooled estimates from three studies showed per patient sensitivity and specificity of reporting radiographers was 76% (95% CI: 70-80%) and 74% (95% CI: (67-80%), respectively. From seven studies, per lesion sensitivity for the detection of lesions >5 and >10 mm was 68% (95% CI: 65-71%) and 75% (95% CI: 72-79%) respectively. Pooled sensitivity for detection of lesions >5 mm in studies for which radiographers reported 50 or less training cases was 57% (95% CI: 52-61%) and more than 50 cases was 78% (95% CI: 74-81%). The current evidence does not support radiographers in a role involving the single formal written reporting of CTC examinations. Radiographers' performance, however, did appear to improve significantly with the number read. Therefore, when provided with adequate training and experience, there may be a potential role for radiographers in the reporting of CTC examinations.Clinical radiology 01/2013; · 1.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To compare the diagnostic yields of a radiologist and trained technologists in the detection of advanced neoplasia within a population-based computed tomographic (CT) colonography screening program. Ethical approval was obtained from the Dutch Health Council, and written informed consent was obtained from all participants. Nine hundred eighty-two participants (507 men, 475 women) underwent low-dose CT colonography after noncathartic bowel preparation (iodine tagging) between July 13, 2009, and January 21, 2011. Each scan was evaluated by one of three experienced radiologists (≥800 examinations) by using primary two-dimensional (2D) reading followed by secondary computer-aided detection (CAD) and by two of four trained technologists (≥200 examinations, with colonoscopic verification) by using primary 2D reading followed by three-dimensional analysis and CAD. Immediate colonoscopy was recommended for participants with lesions measuring at least 10 mm, and surveillance was recommended for participants with lesions measuring 6-9 mm. Consensus between technologists was achieved in case of discordant recommendations. Detection of advanced neoplasia (classified by a pathologist) was defined as a true-positive (TP) finding. Relative TP and false-positive (FP) fractions were calculated along with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Overall, 96 of the 982 participants were referred for colonoscopy and 104 were scheduled for surveillance. Sixty of 84 participants (71%) referred for colonoscopy by the radiologist had advanced neoplasia, compared with 55 of 64 participants (86%) referred by two technologists. Both the radiologist and technologists detected all colorectal cancers (n = 5). The relative TP fraction (for technologists vs radiologist) for advanced neoplasia was 0.92 (95% CI: 0.78, 1.07), and the relative FP fraction was 0.38 (95% CI: 0.21, 0.67). Two technologists serving as a primary reader of CT colonographic images can achieve a comparable sensitivity to that of a radiologist for the detection of advanced neoplasia, with far fewer FP referrals for colonoscopy.Radiology 07/2012; 264(3):771-8. · 6.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To compare computed tomographic colonography (CTC) performance of four trained radiographers with the CTC performance of two experienced radiologists. METHODS: Four radiographers and two radiologists interpreted 87 cases with 40 polyps ≥6 mm. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value (PPV) were assessed on a per-patient basis. On a per-polyp basis, sensitivity was calculated according to the respective size categories (polyps ≥6 mm as well as polyps ≥10 mm). RESULTS: Overall per-patient sensitivity for polyps ≥6 mm was 76.2 % (95 % CI 61.4-91.0) and 76.2 % (95 % CI 61.7-90.6), for the radiographers and radiologists, respectively. Overall per-patient specificity for polyps ≥6 mm were 81.4 % (95 % CI 73.7-89.2) and 81.1 % (95 % CI 73.8-88.3) for the radiographers and the radiologists, respectively. For the radiographers, overall per-polyp sensitivity was 60.3 % (95 % CI 50.3-70.3) and 60.7 % (95 % CI 42.2-79.2) for polyps ≥6 mm and ≥10 mm, respectively. For the radiologists, overall per polyp sensitivity was 59.2 % (95 % CI 46.4-72.0) and 69.0 % (95 % CI 48.1-89.6) for polyps ≥6 mm and ≥10 mm, respectively. CONCLUSION: Radiographers with training in CT colonographic evaluation achieved sensitivity and specificity in polyp detection comparable with that of experienced radiologists. MAIN MESSAGES : • The diagnostic accuracy of trained radiographers was comparable to that of experienced radiologists. • The use of radiographers in reading CTC examinations is acceptable, however radiologists would still be necessary for the evaluation of extracolonic findings. • Skilled non-radiologists may play a vital role as a second reader of intraluminal findings or by performing quality control of examinations before patient dismissal.Insights into imaging. 06/2013;