PMID: 7993157Dec 12, 1994Paper

Interobserver variability in the interpretation of chest roentgenograms of patients with possible pneumonia

Archives of Internal Medicine
M Young, T J Marrie


Previous studies have found considerable interobserver variability in the roentgenographic diagnosis of pneumonia. In this study we determined the impact of experience on interobserver variability in the interpretation of chest roentgenograms of patients with pneumonia and defined the characteristics of chest roentgenograms interpreted as pneumonia by all groups. The chest roentgenograms of 15 consecutive patients with a clinical and roentgenographic diagnosis of pneumonia were read by a convenience sample of 10 first-year and 20 fourth-year medical students, 21 medical residents, and 21 staff physicians from the department of medicine. Three board-certified radiologists served as the gold standard. The majority rule decision and logistic regression analysis were used to analyze agreement among the various groups of observers. Agreement with the majority decisions of the gold-standard radiologists on the presence or absence of pneumonia for all observations of the various groups were as follows: original radiologist, 87%; first-year medical students, 59%; fourth-year medical students, 54%; medical residents, 66%; and attending staff, 72%. Chest roentgenograms with dense lobar or segmental opacities were generally interpreted as...Continue Reading

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