Concordance Between Resident and Attending Radiologist in Reporting Pneumothorax on Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Room Chest Radiographs

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Cureus. 2022 Sep 27;14(9):e29672. doi: 10.7759/cureus.29672. eCollection 2022 Sep.


Introduction Pneumothorax is a common medical emergency and has potentially life-threatening consequences, so it is important for radiology residents and consultants to know its radiographic appearance so that timely diagnosis and appropriate management can be done. Patients with pneumothorax have nonspecific complaints, and clinical examinations are not confirmatory. The chest X-ray is easily available and has high accuracy in the detection of pneumothorax. The aim of this study is to determine the agreement between the on-call radiology resident and the attending radiologist in the diagnosis of pneumothorax on chest radiographs. Materials and methods This cross-sectional study was performed in the Department of Radiology at Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi. After approval from the ethical review committee (ERC), the study was carried out. A total of 174 patients were included in the study. The resident interpreting the radiograph commented on the pneumothorax and recorded it on the "Comments" section of the picture archiving and communication system (PACS). Further entries were made in the department's "Panic Logbook." Subsequently, the final report by the attending radiologist was tallied, and the decision of both the resident and the attending radiologist regarding the presence or absence of pneumothorax was compared for interobserver agreement. Results Of the 174 patients, 139 (79.9%) were male and 35 (20.1%) were female. The mean age of the patients was 45.6 ± 12.4 years. Pneumothorax was reported by the resident in 164 (94.25%) cases, while the attending radiologist reported it in 167 (96%) cases. The remaining 4% of cases were ultimately diagnosed on a CT scan of the chest performed at the request of the primary team; they were too small to be detected on a chest radiograph. The most common side involved was the right side, with 112 (64.4%) cases, followed by the left side with 55 (31.6%) and both sides with five (2.9%), while in two cases, pneumothorax was not reported by the resident and the attending radiologist. The position of the pneumothorax was as follows: apex in 80 (46%), base in 56 (32.2%), and along the lateral border of the lung in 93 (53.4%). Concordance between the resident and the radiologist was found to be 92.5% (kappa = 0.20; p = 0.008). Stratification for age, gender, the position of pneumothorax, and the level of residency was also carried out. Conclusion In our setting, there was a high level of agreement (92.5%) between the resident and the attending radiologist in reporting pneumothorax on chest radiographs (kappa = 0.20; p = 0.008).

PMID:36320981 | PMC:PMC9616555 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.29672

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