Accuracy of radiographer reporting of paediatric brain CT
Background: Radiographer reporting has been studied for plain films and for ultrasonography, but not in paediatric brain CT in the emergency setting. Objective: To study the accuracy of radiographer reporting in paediatric brain CT. Materials and methods: We prospectively collected 100 paediatric brain CT examinations. Films were read from hard copies using a prescribed tick sheet. Radiographers with 12 years' and 3 years' experience, respectively, were blinded to the history and were not trained in diagnostic film interpretation. The radiographers' results were compared with those of a consultant radiologist. Three categories were defined: abnormal scans, significant abnormalities and insignificant abnormalities. Results: Both radiographers had an accuracy of 89.5% in reading a scan correctly as abnormal, and radiographer 1 had a sensitivity of 87.8% and radiographer 2 a sensitivity of 96%. Radiographer 1 had an accuracy in detecting a significant abnormality of 75% and radiographer 2 an accuracy of 48.6%, and the sensitivities for this category were 61.6% and 52.9%, respectively. Results for detecting the insignificant abnormalities were poorer. Conclusions: Selected radiographers could play an effective screening role, but lacking the sensitivity required for detecting significant abnormality, they could not be the final diagnostician. We recommend that the study be repeated after both radiographers have received formal training in interpretation of paediatric brain CT. © Springer-Verlag 2007.