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Classification of CT pulmonary opacities as perifissural nodules: Reader variability

 
: Schreuder, A.; Ginneken, B. van; Scholten, E.T.; Jacobs, C.; Prokop, M.; Sverzellati, N.; Desai, S.R.; Devaraj, A.; Schaefer-Prokop, C.M.

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Radiology 288 (2018), No.3, pp.867-875
ISSN: 0033-8419
ISSN: 1527-1315
English
Journal Article
Fraunhofer MEVIS ()

Abstract
Purpose: To study interreader variability for classifying pulmonary opacities at CT as perifissural nodules (PFNs) and determine how reliably radiologists differentiate PFNs from malignancies.
Materials and Methods: CT studies were obtained retrospectively from the National Lung Screening Trial (2002-2009). Nodules were eligible for the study if they were noncalcified, solid, within the size range of 5 to 10 mm, and scanned with a section thickness of 2 mm or less. Six radiologists classified 359 nodules in a cancer-enriched data set as PFN, non-PFN, or not applicable. Nodules classified as not applicable by at least three radiologists were excluded, leaving 316 nodules for post-hoc statistical analysis.
Results: The study group contained 22.2% cancers (70 of 316). The median proportion of nodules classified as PFNs was 45.6% (144 of 316). All six radiologists uniformly classified 17.7% (56 of 316) of the nodules as PFNs. The Fleiss k was 0.50. Compared with non-PFNs, nodules classified as PFNs were smaller and more often located in the lower lobes and attached to a fissure (P , .001). Thirteen (18.6%) of 70 cancers were misclassified 21 times as PFNs. Individual readers' misclassification rates ranged from 0% (0 of 125) to 4.9% (eight of 163). Of 13 misclassified malignancies, 11 were in the upper lobes and two were attached to a fissure.
Conclusion: There was moderate interreader agreement when classifying nodules as perifissural nodules. Less than 2.5% of perifissural nodule classifications were misclassified lung cancers (21 of 865) in this cancer-enriched study. Allowing nodules classified as perifissural nodules to be omitted from additional follow-up in a screening setting could substantially reduce the number of unnecessary scans; excluding perifissural nodules in the upper lobes would greatly decrease the misclassification rate.

: http://publica.fraunhofer.de/documents/N-524365.html