Objective: To determine interrater agreement in the initial radiologic characterization of ruptured intracranial aneurysms based on computed tomography angiography (CTA) with special emphasis on the rater's level of experience.
Methods: One junior and one senior rater of 5 high-volume neurovascular tertiary centers evaluated anonymized CTA images of 30 consecutive patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Each rater described location, side, size, and morphology in a standardized manner. Interrater variability was analyzed using intraclass correlation and Fleiss' kappa analysis.
Results: There was a high level of agreement for location (κ = 0.76, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.74-0.79), side (κ = 0.95, CI 0.91-0.99), maximum diameter (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] 0.81, CI 0.70-0.90), and dome (ICC 0.78, CI 0.66-0.88) of intracranial aneurysms. In contrast, a lower level of agreement was observed for aneurysms' neck diameter (ICC 0.39, CI 0.28-0.58), the presence of multiple aneurysms (κ = 0.35, CI 0.30-0.40), and aneurysm morphology (blister κ = 0.11, CI -0.05 to 0.07; fusiform κ = 0.54, CI 0.48-0.60; multilobular, κ = 0.39 CI 0.33-0.45). The interrater agreement in the senior rater group was greater than in the junior rater group.
Conclusions: Interrater agreement confirms the benefit of CTA as initial diagnostic imaging in ruptured intracranial aneurysms but not for aneurysm morphology and presence of multiple aneurysms. A trend towards greater interrater agreement between more experienced raters was noticed.
Keywords: Aneurysm morphology; Computed tomography angiography; Interrater agreement; Interrater reliability; Neurovascular imaging; Subarachnoid hemorrhage.
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