To compare computed tomographic colonography (CTC) performance of four trained radiographers with the CTC performance of two experienced radiologists.
Four radiographers and two radiologists interpreted 87 cases with 40 polyps ≥6 mm. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value (PPV) were assessed on a per-patient basis. On a per-polyp basis, sensitivity was calculated according to the respective size categories (polyps ≥6 mm as well as polyps ≥10 mm).
Overall per-patient sensitivity for polyps ≥6 mm was 76.2 % (95 % CI 61.4–91.0) and 76.2 % (95 % CI 61.7–90.6), for the radiographers and radiologists, respectively. Overall per-patient specificity for polyps ≥6 mm were 81.4 % (95 % CI 73.7–89.2) and 81.1 % (95 % CI 73.8–88.3) for the radiographers and the radiologists, respectively. For the radiographers, overall per-polyp sensitivity was 60.3 % (95 % CI 50.3–70.3) and 60.7 % (95 % CI 42.2–79.2) for polyps ≥6 mm and ≥10 mm, respectively. For the radiologists, overall per polyp sensitivity was 59.2 % (95 % CI 46.4–72.0) and 69.0 % (95 % CI 48.1–89.6) for polyps ≥6 mm and ≥10 mm, respectively.
Radiographers with training in CT colonographic evaluation achieved sensitivity and specificity in polyp detection comparable with that of experienced radiologists.
• The diagnostic accuracy of trained radiographers was comparable to that of experienced radiologists.
• The use of radiographers in reading CTC examinations is acceptable, however radiologists would still be necessary for the evaluation of extracolonic findings.
• Skilled non-radiologists may play a vital role as a second reader of intraluminal findings or by performing quality control of examinations before patient dismissal.