Reader performance in the ultrasonographic evaluation of oropharyngeal carcinoma
Objective: To examine reader performance in evaluating oropharyngeal anatomy on ultrasonography.
Materials and methods: Ultrasound images of the oropharynx comprising normal and malignant anatomic variants were organized into slideshows. Slideshows were administered to 6 readers blinded to participant tumor status and with varying experience reading oropharyngeal sonograms. A training slideshow oriented readers to images of the oropharynx with and without malignant lesions. Readers then evaluated images in a test slideshow for tumor presence and marked orthogonal long and short dimensions of the tumor. Results were analyzed for accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, inter-reader agreement, and measurement error relative to prospectively-identified reference measurements.
Results: Eighty-seven percent of base of tongue (BOT) sonograms were identified correctly by a majority of readers. In identifying BOT tumors, median accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and Fleiss's kappa were 79%, 73%, 85%, and 0.51, respectively. Median measurement error in the long and short axes for BOT tumors was -2.6% (range: -40% to 29%) and -2.6% (range: -56% to 156%), respectively. Eighty-four percent of palatine tonsil sonograms were identified correctly by a majority of readers. In identifying tonsil tumors, median accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and Fleiss's kappa were 77%, 74%, 78%, and 0.41, respectively. Median measurement error in the long and short axes for tonsil tumors was 3.8% (range: -45% to 32%) and -6.5% (range: -83% to 42%), respectively.
Conclusions: Overall, US has clinically useful sensitivity for identification of oropharyngeal carcinoma among readers of diverse clinical backgrounds and experience. US may be useful for the evaluation of features such as tumor dimensions.
Faraji F, Padilla ES, Blitz D, Wenderoth MB, Blanco RG, Kawamoto S, Sheth S, Hamper UM, Fakhry C. Reader performance in the ultrasonographic evaluation of oropharyngeal carcinoma. Oral Oncol. 2018 Feb;77:105-110. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2017.12.012. Epub 2018 Jan 4. PMID: 29362115.