OBJECTIVE: To compare computed tomographic colonography (CTC) performance of four trained radiographers with the CTC performance of two experienced radiologists. METHODS: Four radiographers and two radiologists interpreted 87 cases with 40 polyps ≥6 mm. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value (PPV) were assessed on a per-patient basis. On a per-polyp basis, sensitivity was calculated according to the respective size categories (polyps ≥6 mm as well as polyps ≥10 mm). RESULTS: Overall per-patient sensitivity for polyps ≥6 mm was 76.2 % (95 % CI 61.4-91.0) and 76.2 % (95 % CI 61.7-90.6), for the radiographers and radiologists, respectively. Overall per-patient specificity for polyps ≥6 mm were 81.4 % (95 % CI 73.7-89.2) and 81.1 % (95 % CI 73.8-88.3) for the radiographers and the radiologists, respectively. For the radiographers, overall per-polyp sensitivity was 60.3 % (95 % CI 50.3-70.3) and 60.7 % (95 % CI 42.2-79.2) for polyps ≥6 mm and ≥10 mm, respectively. For the radiologists, overall per polyp sensitivity was 59.2 % (95 % CI 46.4-72.0) and 69.0 % (95 % CI 48.1-89.6) for polyps ≥6 mm and ≥10 mm, respectively. CONCLUSION: Radiographers with training in CT colonographic evaluation achieved sensitivity and specificity in polyp detection comparable with that of experienced radiologists. MAIN MESSAGES : • The diagnostic accuracy of trained radiographers was comparable to that of experienced radiologists. • The use of radiographers in reading CTC examinations is acceptable, however radiologists would still be necessary for the evaluation of extracolonic findings. • Skilled non-radiologists may play a vital role as a second reader of intraluminal findings or by performing quality control of examinations before patient dismissal.
Insights Into Imaging, 2013, Vol 4, Issue 4, p. 491-497