Intraobserver and interobserver agreement for results of low-field magnetic resonance imaging in dogs with and without clinical signs of disk-associated wobbler syndrome.J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2011 Jan 01; 238(1):74-80.JA
To determine interobserver and intraobserver agreement for results of low-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in dogs with and without disk-associated wobbler syndrome (DAWS).
21 dogs with and 23 dogs without clinical signs of DAWS.
For each dog, MRI of the cervical vertebral column was performed. The MRI studies were presented in a randomized sequence to 4 board-certified radiologists blinded to clinical status. Observers assessed degree of disk degeneration, disk-associated and dorsal compression, alterations in intraspinal signal intensity (ISI), vertebral body abnormalities, and new bone formation and categorized each study as originating from a clinically affected or clinically normal dog. Interobserver agreement was calculated for 44 initial measurements for each observer. Intraobserver agreement was calculated for 11 replicate measurements for each observer.
There was good interobserver agreement for ratings of disk degeneration and vertebral body abnormalities and moderate interobserver agreement for ratings of disk-associated compression, dorsal compression, alterations in ISI, new bone formation, and suspected clinical status. There was very good intraobserver agreement for ratings of disk degeneration, disk-associated compression, alterations in ISI, vertebral body abnormalities, and suspected clinical status. There was good intraobserver agreement for ratings of dorsal compression and new bone formation. Two of 21 clinically affected dogs were erroneously categorized as clinically normal, and 4 of 23 clinically normal dogs were erroneously categorized as clinically affected.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results suggested that variability exists among observers with regard to results of MRI in dogs with DAWS and that MRI could lead to false-positive and false-negative assessments.