Purpose To compare inter-reader variability of chest X-ray and high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scans of formerly asbestos-exposed employees over a 4-year period. Methods In this longitudinal study, 636 formerly asbestos-exposed persons were annually examined with chest radiographs and HRCT scans. Ten observer pairs classified the radiographs and HRCT scans, using the ILO classification and a custom-made CT classification. Inter-observer variability was calculated using the K-coefficient. Results Despite all expectations, HRCT inter-reader variability according to asbestos-related lung or pleura alterations at an early stage did not turn out to be better than X-ray inter-reader variability. Substantial inter-observer agreement was found for pleural calcifications (KX-ray = 0.63; KCT = 0.64). Averaging over K led to fair inter-observer agreement of both methods (K X-ray = 0.36; KCT = 0.34). Conclusions High resolution computed tomography scans are superior to X-rays in detecting lung alterations after asbestos exposure and are supposedly easier to interpret. Nevertheless, inter-observer variability did not differ between the two methods in this study. This was probably due to the only discrete asbestos-related lung or pleura alterations of this cohort and to the unfamiliar CT classification sheet, which was revised on the basis of the presented results.
|Zeitschrift||International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health|
|Seiten (von - bis)||39-46|
|Publikationsstatus||Veröffentlicht - 01.01.2010|