PMID: 3711253Jan 1, 1986Paper

Observer variation in the classification of mammographic parenchymal patterns

Journal of Chronic Diseases
Norman F BoydJ D Longley


Wolfe has described different cancer risks associated with a classification of four patterns of the breast parenchyma on mammography, but there is however little information available on the ability of radiologists to agree on the classification of the different patterns. We have assessed inter-rater agreement on the assignment of films to one of the four mammographic patterns described by Wolfe. One hundred xeromammograms were selected, copied and distributed to 10 radiologists who were experts in mammography. Films were classified according to the presence or absence of several radiological signs, according to diagnosis and recommendation, and according to mammographic pattern. Agreement was assessed after correction for agreement expected by chance, using the Kappa statistic. In general, high levels of agreement were found for the classification of mammographic pattern. Agreement on the classification of mammographic pattern was substantially greater than agreement for any other feature of mammographic interpretation, including diagnosis and recommendation.


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