Sensitivity and inter-observer variability for capsule endoscopy image analysis in a cohort of novice readers

World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Feb 28;12(8):1249-54. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i8.1249.


Aim: To determine the performance of novice readers (4th year medical students) for detecting capsule endoscopy findings.

Methods: Ten capsule endoscopy cases of small bowel lesions were administered to the readers. Gold standard findings were pre-defined by gastroenterologists. Ten gold standard "targets" were identified among the 10 cases. Readers were given a 30-min overview of Rapid Reader software and instructed to mark any potential areas of abnormalities. A software program was developed using SAS to analyze the thumbnailed findings.

Results: The overall sensitivity for detecting the gold standard findings was 80%. As a group, at least 5 out of 10 readers detected each gold standard finding per recording. All the gold standard targets were identified when the readers' results were combined. Incidental finding/false positive rate ranged between 8.2-59.8 per reader.

Conclusion: A panel of medical students with minimal endoscopic experience can achieve high sensitivity in detecting lesions on capsule endoscopy. A group of novice readers can pre-screen recordings to thumbnail potential areas of small bowel lesions for further review. These thumbnails must be reviewed to determine the clinical relevance. Further studies are ongoing to assess other cohorts.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal / methods*
  • Humans
  • Incidental Findings
  • Intestinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Intestinal Diseases / pathology
  • Intestine, Small*
  • Medical Errors / statistics & numerical data
  • Observer Variation
  • Reference Standards
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Software
  • Students, Medical*
  • Time Factors