Inter-observer variation in interpretation of chest X-rays

Scott Med J. 1990 Oct;35(5):140-1. doi: 10.1177/003693309003500505.


139 chest x-rays of children with solid tumours or leukaemia were examined independently by three observers (a radiologist and two physicians) and a consensus report determined. There was total agreement between observers on 40 x-rays (29%). The radiologist agreed with the consensus report on a significantly greater number of x-rays (91%) than both physicians (62% and 46%). There was a high incidence of over-reporting of abnormalities by both physicians. This study reinforces the need for regular dialogue between radiologists and clinicians for optimum interpretation of chest x-rays.

MeSH terms

  • Bronchography
  • Child
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Leukemia / diagnostic imaging
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Observer Variation
  • Physicians*
  • Radiography, Thoracic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Radiology*