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Proceedings Paper

Reader characteristics linked to detection of pulmonary nodules on radiographs: ROC vs. JAFROC analyses of performance
Author(s): Akshay Kohli; John W. Robinson; John Ryan; Mark F. McEntee; Patrick C. Brennan
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Paper Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore whether reader characteristics are linked to heightened levels of diagnostic performance in chest radiology using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) and jackknife free response ROC (JAFROC) methodologies. A set of 40 postero-anterior chest radiographs was developed, of which 20 were abnormal containing one or more simulated nodules, of varying subtlety. Images were independently reviewed by 12 boardcertified radiologists including six chest specialists. The observer performance was measured in terms of ROC and JAFROC scores. For the ROC analysis, readers were asked to rate their degree of suspicion for the presence of nodules by using a confidence rating scale (1-6). JAFROC analysis required the readers to locate and rate as many suspicious areas as they wished using the same scale and resultant data were used to generate Az and FOM scores for ROC and JAFROC analyses respectively. Using Pearson methods, scores of performance were correlated with 7 reader characteristics recorded using a questionnaire. JAFROC analysis showed that improved reader performance was significantly (p≤0.05) linked with chest specialty (p<0.03), hours per week reading chest radiographs (p<0.03) and chest readings per year (p<0.04). ROC analyses demonstrated only one significant relationship, hours per week reading chest radiographs (p<0.02).The results of this study have shown that radiologist's performance in the detection of pulmonary nodules on radiographs is significantly linked to chest specialty, hours reading per week and number of radiographs read per year. Also, JAFROC is a more powerful predictor of performance as compared to ROC.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 March 2011
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7966, Medical Imaging 2011: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment, 79660K (3 March 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.877958
Show Author Affiliations
Akshay Kohli, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
John W. Robinson, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
John Ryan, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
Mark F. McEntee, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
Patrick C. Brennan, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7966:
Medical Imaging 2011: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment
David J. Manning; Craig K. Abbey, Editor(s)

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