The reproducibility of ultrasonographic findings of rectosigmoid endometriosis among examiners with different level of expertise
Objective To analyze the reproducibility of ultrasonographic (US) findings of rectosigmoid endometriosis among examiners with different level of expertise using stored three-dimensional (3D) volumes of the posterior compartment of the pelvis as a part of SANABA (Sardinia-Navarra-Barcelona) collaborative study. Materials and methods Six examiners in 3 academic Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, with different levels of experience and blinded to each other, evaluated 60 stored 3D volumes from the posterior compartment of the pelvis and looked for the presence or absence of features of rectosigmoid endometriotic lesions defined as an irregular hypoechoic nodule with or without hypoechoic foci at the level of the muscularis propria of the anterior wall rectum sigma. Multiplanar view and virtual navigation were used. All examiners had to assess the 3D volume of posterior compartment of the pelvis and classify it as present or absent disease. To analyze intra-observer and the inter-observer agreements, each examiner performed the assessment twice with a 2-week interval between the first and second assessments. Reproducibility was assessed by calculating the weighted Kappa index. Results Intra-observer reproducibility was moderate to very good for all observers (Kappa index ranging from 0.49 to 0.96) associated with a good diagnostic accuracy of each reader. Inter-observer reproducibility was fair to very good (Kappa index range: 0.21-0.87). Conclusions The typical US sign of rectosigmoid endometriosis is reasonably recognizable to observers with different level of expertise when assessed in stored 3D volumes.