BACKGROUND: The concept of "advanced polyps" is well accepted and is defined as polyps ≥10 mm and/or those having a villous component and/or demonstrating areas of dysplasia. Of these parameters, computed tomography colonography (CTC) can only document size. The accepted management of CTC-detected "advanced polyps" is to recommend excision if feasible, whereas the management of "intermediate" (6-9 mm) polyps is more controversial, and interval surveillance may be acceptable. Therefore, distinction between 6-9 mm and ≥10 mm is important.
METHODS: Datasets containing 26 polyps originally reported as between 8-12 mm in diameter were reviewed independently by 4 CTC-accredited radiologists. Observers tabulated the largest measurement for each polyp on axial, coronal, sagittal, and endoluminal views at lung-window settings. These measurements were also compared to those determined by the computer-aided detection (CAD) software.
RESULTS: The interobserver reliability intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) for sagittal projection was 0.80 ("excellent" category of Hosmer and Lemeshow ), 0.71 for axial ("acceptable"), 0.69 for coronal, and 0.41 for endoluminal ("unacceptable"). The largest of sagittal/axial/coronal measurement gave the best reliability with the smallest variance (ICC = 0.80; 95% CI 0.67-0.89). For 8 of 26 polyps, at least one radiologist's measurement placed the polyp in a different category compared to a colleague. For the majority of the polyps, the CAD significantly overestimated the readings compared to the largest of the manual measurements with an average difference of 1.6 mm (P < .0001 for sagittal/axial/coronal). This resulted in 33% of polyps falling into a different category-10% were lower and 23% were higher (P < .034).
CONCLUSION: It is apparent that around the cutoff point of 10 mm between "advanced" and "intermediate" polyps, interobserver performance is variable.