Observer variation of 2-deoxy-2-[F-18]fluoro-D-glucose-positron emission tomography in mediastinal staging of non-small cell lung cancer as a function of experience, and its potential clinical impact

Sietske A. Smulders, Chad M. Gundy, Arthur van Lingen, Emile F. Comans, Frank W.J.M. Smeenk, Otto S. Hoekstra, Geesje J. Abels-Fransen, Jim Baas, Peter Barneveld, Robbert Boer, Vivian Bongers, Filiz Celik, Roel Claessens, Michela A. Edelbroek, Dyde A. Huysmans, Ing Han Liem, Peter van Noorden, Imad al Younis, Dolores Zanin, Ton Zwijnenburg

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To test the extent of variation among nuclear medicine physicians with respect to staging non-small cell lung cancer with positron emission tomography (PET). Procedures: Two groups of nuclear medicine physicians with different levels of PET experience reviewed 30 PET scans. They were requested to identify and localize suspicious mediastinal lymph nodes (MLN) using standardized algorithms. Results were compared between the two groups, between individuals, and with expert reading. Results: Overall we found good interobserver agreement (kappa 0.65). Experience with PET translated into a better ability to localize MLN stations (68% vs. 51%, respectively), and experienced readers appeared to be more familiar with translating PET readings into clinically useful statements. Conclusions: Although our results suggest that clinical experience with PET increases observers' ability to read and interpret results from PET adequately, there is room for improvement. Experience with PET does not necessarily improve the accuracy of image interpretation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-322
Number of pages5
JournalMolecular Imaging and Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2007


  • Experience
  • FDG-PET scanning
  • Interobserver variation
  • Lung cancer
  • Mediastinal lymph node metastases

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