Intra- and interobserver variability in interpretation of DMSA scans using a set of standardized criteria

Pediatr Radiol. 1993;23(7):506-9. doi: 10.1007/BF02012131.


A set of criteria was developed to standardize assessment of DMSA renal scintigraphy which were performed to evaluate children for acute pyelonephritis and renal scarring. This study was undertaken to assess intra- and interobserver variability in the interpretation of DMSA renal scintigraphy using these criteria. Renal contours and parenchyma were assessed in three zones. Contours were assessed as normal or abnormal and parenchymal defects were evaluated in terms of character, shape and degree in three regions (upper and lower pole and midzone). Two nuclear medicine physicians blindly reviewed 57 DMSA scintigraphy on two occasions each. Disagreement of each observer's evaluation of the same scintigraphy on two different occasions was described as intraobserver variability, and the comparison between readings by each of the two observers was described as interobserver variability. High levels of intra- (95.9% and 90.6% respectively, p < 0.05) and interobserver agreement (84.4%, p < 0.05) were demonstrated. There were minor differences in inconsistencies between the two kidneys or different kidney zones. We conclude that standardization of criteria resulted in higher intra- and interobserver consistency in interpretation of DMSA scintigraphy.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cicatrix / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging*
  • Observer Variation
  • Organotechnetium Compounds*
  • Pyelonephritis / diagnostic imaging
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Succimer*
  • Technetium Tc 99m Dimercaptosuccinic Acid


  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Technetium Tc 99m Dimercaptosuccinic Acid
  • Succimer