Modified Chrispin-Norman chest radiography score for cystic fibrosis: observer agreement and correlation with lung function

Eur Radiol. 2011 Apr;21(4):722-9. doi: 10.1007/s00330-010-1972-7. Epub 2010 Oct 6.


Objective: To test observer agreement and two strategies for possible improvement (consensus meeting and reference images) for the modified Chrispin-Norman score for children with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Methods: Before and after a consensus meeting and after developing reference images three observers scored sets of 25 chest radiographs from children with CF. Observer agreement was tested for line, ring, mottled and large soft shadows, for overinflation and for the composite modified Chrispin-Norman score. Correlation with lung function was assessed.

Results: Before the consensus meeting agreement between observers 1 and 2 was moderate-good, but with observer 3 agreement was poor-fair. Scores correlated significantly with spirometry for observers 1 and 2 (-0.72<R<-0.42, P < 0.05), but not for observer 3. Agreement with observer 3 improved after the consensus meeting. Reference images improved agreement for overinflation and mottled and large shadows and correlation with lung function, but agreement for the modified Chrispin-Norman score did not improve further.

Conclusion: Consensus meetings and reference images improve among-observer agreement for the modified Chrispin-Norman score, but good agreement was not achieved among all observers for the modified Chrispin-Norman score and for bronchial line and ring shadows.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cystic Fibrosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Male
  • Observer Variation
  • Radiography, Thoracic / methods*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Physiological Phenomena
  • Spirometry / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods