Interobserver variation of colonic polyp measurement at computed tomography colonography

Gurjeet Dulku, Chandra Hewavitharana, Tonya Halliday, Duncan Ramsay, Richard Ho, Richard Mendelson, Michael Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 [2004]), 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-51
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Association of Radiologists Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

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