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Title

VARIABILITY IN OBSERVER PERFORMANCE BETWEEN FACULTY MEMBERS AND RESIDENTS USING BREAST IMAGING REPORTING AND DATA SYSTEM (BI-RADS)-ULTRASOUND, FIFTH EDITION (2013)

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Abstract

 Background: ULTRASONOGRAPHY (US) is a useful tool for BREAST imaging, yet is highly operator-dependent.Objectives: We evaluated inter-observer variability and performance discrepancies between FACULTY members and radiology residents when describing BREAST lesions, by the fifth edition of BREAST imaging reporting and data system (BI-RADS) -US lexicon, and then attempted to identify whether inter-observer variability could be improved after one education session.Patients and Methods: In total, 50 malignant lesions and 70 benign lesions were considered in our retrospective study. Two FACULTY members, two senior residents, and two junior residents separately assessed the US images. After the first assessment, the readers received one education session, and then reassessed the images in a random order. Inter-observer variability was measured using the kappa coefficient (k). Performance discrepancy was evaluated by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves.Results: For the FACULTY members, fair-to-good agreement was obtained in all descriptors and final assessment, while for residents, poor-to-moderate agreement was obtained. The areas under the ROC curves were 0.78 for the FACULTY members, 0.59 for the senior residents, and 0.52 for the junior residents, respectively. Diagnostic performance was significantly higher in the FACULTY members than the senior and junior residents (P=0.0001 and<0.0001, respectively). After one education session, the agreement in the final assessment was one level higher in the FACULTY members and senior residents, yet in the senior residents, the degree of agreement was still only fair. Moreover, in the junior residents, there was no improvement.Conclusion: Investigative assessment of BREAST US by residents is inadvisable. We recommend continued professional resident training to improve the degree of agreement and performance.

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