Inter-observer variation in the histological diagnosis of polyps in colorectal cancer screening

Paul Putten, Lieke Hol, H (Herman) van Dekken, JHJM van Krieken, Marjolein Ballegooijen, Ernst Kuipers, M Leerdam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim: To determine the inter-observer variation in the histological diagnosis of colorectal polyps. Methods and results: Four hundred and forty polyps were randomly selected from a colorectal cancer screening programme. Polyps were first evaluated by a general (324 polyps) or expert (116 polyps) pathologist, and subsequently re-evaluated by an expert pathologist. Conditional agreement was reported, and inter-observer agreement was determined using kappa statistics. In 421/440 polyps (96%), agreement for their non-adenomatous or adenomatous nature was obtained, corresponding to a very good kappa value of 0.88. For differentiation of adenomas as non-advanced and advanced, consensus was obtained in 266/322 adenomas (83%), with a moderate kappa value of 0.58. For the non-adenomatous or adenomatous nature, both general and expert pathologists, and expert pathologists between each other, showed very good agreement {kappa values of 0.89 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.83-0.95] and 0.86 (95% CI 0.73-0.98), respectively}. For categorization of adenomas as non-advanced and advanced, moderate agreement was found between general and expert pathologists, and between expert pathologists [kappa values of 0.56 (95% CI 0.44-0.67) and 0.64 (95% CI 0.43-0.85), respectively]. Conclusions: General and expert pathologists demonstrate very good inter-observer agreement for differentiating non-adenomas from adenomas, but only moderate agreement for non-advanced and advanced adenomas. The considerable variation in differentiating non-advanced and advanced adenomas suggests that more objective criteria are required for risk stratification in screening and surveillance guidelines.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)974-981
Number of pages8
JournalHistopathology
Volume58
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Research programs

  • EMC MM-04-20-01
  • EMC NIHES-02-65-01

Cite this