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Thunnissen FB , Kerr KM , Brambilla E , Comin CE , Franklin WA , Guldhammerskov B , Westra WH , Flieder DB
EU-USA pathology panel for uniform diagnosis in randomised controlled trials for HRCT screening in lung cancer
European Respiratory Journal. 2006 Dec;28(6) :1186-1189
PMID: ISI:000242725100019   
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Randomised controlled trials for lung cancer screening using high-resolution computed tomography are now underway. In order to allow effective future comparison of the different trials, as well as strengthening conclusions based upon the analysis of larger data sets, uniformity and consistency of pathology diagnosis are essential. The aim of the present study was to determine the effectiveness of the learning process in this difficult area of diagnostic pathology. Eight pathologists received two CD-ROMs, each with digital images of 30 cases. After diagnosing the first series, selected background reading was provided. Kappa (kappa) scores were calculated for each pathologist and category, and were compared to the consensus score. The readings of the first series showed a moderate agreement kappa score: mean +/- SD for category numbers 8 (all eight categories) and 2 were 0.53 +/- 0.05 and 0.65 +/- 0.04, respectively. The kappa 2 score distinguished between categories denoting benign and malignant lesions. The second series resulted in a good agreement kappa score: 0.65 +/- 0.06 for category number 8 and 0.81 +/- 0.02 for category number 2. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that screen-detected cases pose particular problems for pathologists and that a trained pathology panel serving randomised controlled trials is likely to lead to more consistent and accurate tissue diagnosis.
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