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Interobserver agreement for diagnostic MRI criteria in suspected multiple sclerosis

Barkhof, F; Filippi, M; van Waesberghe, JHTM; Campi, A; Miller, DH; Ader, HJ; (1999) Interobserver agreement for diagnostic MRI criteria in suspected multiple sclerosis. NEURORADIOLOGY , 41 (5) 347 - 350.

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Abstract

MRI is the paraclinical test most widely used to support the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). We evaluated interobserver agreement in applying diagnostic criteria to MRI obtained at first presentation. Five experienced observers scored 25 sets of images consisting of unenhanced T2- and gadolinium enhanced T1-weighted images (approximately half the sets were normal). We scored frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital, infratentorial and basal ganglia lesions and the total number of lesions on T2-weighted images; periventricular, callosal, juxtacortical and ovoid lesions and those > 5 mm in maximum diameter; contrast-enhancing and hypointense lesions. Based on a combination of imaging findings patients were classified as compatible or not compatible with MS according to composite criteria. Observer concordance was characterised by weighted kappa values (kappa) and mean average difference to the median (MADM) scores. Using the raw scores, there was poor agreement for the total number of lesions on T2-weighted images, and for occipital, oval, juxtacortical and hypointense lesions. Moderate agreement was found for frontal, callosal, basal ganglia and large lesions on T2 weighting. Good agreement was attained for parietal, temporal, infratentorial and periventricular lesions. After dichotomisation according to accepted cut-off values, most criteria performed better, especially the number of lesions on T2-weighted images (P < 0.05). Good agreement was found for the criteria of Paty and Fazekas and moderate agreement for those of Barkhof. While experienced observers may not agree on the total number of lesions, they show quite good agreement for commonly used cut-off points and elements in the composite criteria. This validates: the use of MRI in the diagnosis of MS, and the use of dichotomised and composite criteria.

Type: Article
Title: Interobserver agreement for diagnostic MRI criteria in suspected multiple sclerosis
Keywords: multiple sclerosis, magnetic resonance imaging, interobserver variation, LESIONS
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Med Phys and Biomedical Eng
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/137114
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