Intra-and interobserver variability in magnetic resonance imaging measurements in rectal cancer patients

Peter Grimm*, Martina Kastrup Loft, Claus Dam, Malene Roland Vils Pedersen, Signe Timm, Søren Rafael Rafaelsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer in Europe, and accurate lymph node staging in rectal cancer patients is essential for the selection of their treatment. MRI lymph node staging is complex, and few studies have been published regarding its reproducibility. This study assesses the inter-and intraobserver variability in lymph node size, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) measurements, and morphological characterization among inexperienced and experienced radiologists. Four radiologists with different levels of experience in MRI rectal cancer staging analyzed 36 MRI scans of 36 patients with rectal adenocarcinoma. Inter-and intraobserver variation was calculated using interclass correlation coefficients and Cohens-kappa statistics, respectively. Inter-and intraobserver agreement for the length and width measurements was good to excellent, and for that of ADC it was fair to good. Interobserver agreement for the assessment of irregular border was moderate, heterogeneous signal was fair, round shape was fair to moderate, and extramesorectal lymph node location was moderate to almost perfect. Intraobserver agreement for the assessment of irregular border was fair to substantial, heterogeneous signal was fair to moderate, round shape was fair to moderate, and extramesorectal lymph node location was substantial to almost perfect. Our data indicate that subjective variables such as morphological characteristics are less reproducible than numerical variables, regardless of the level of experience of the observers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5120
JournalCancers
Volume13
Issue number20
Number of pages10
ISSN2072-6694
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13. Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • Interobserver variability
  • Intraobserver variability
  • Lymph node staging
  • Radiology
  • Rectal cancer

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