Lung ultrasonography in pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic: An interobserver agreement study among obstetricians

Yassa M., Mutlu M. A., Birol P., Kuzan T. Y., Kalafat E., Usta C., ...More

Ultrasonography, vol.39, no.4, pp.340-349, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 39 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.14366/usg.20084
  • Journal Name: Ultrasonography
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.340-349
  • Keywords: COVID-19, Interobserver variability, Lung ultrasound, Pregnancy, SARS-CoV-2, COMPUTED-TOMOGRAPHY, ULTRASOUND, PNEUMONIA, DIAGNOSIS
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


© 2020 Korean Society of Ultrasound in Medicine (KSUM).Purpose: This study investigated interobserver agreement in lung ultrasonography (LUS) in pregnant women performed by obstetricians with different levels of expertise, with confirmation by an expert radiologist. Methods: This prospective study was conducted at a tertiary "Coronavirus Pandemic Hospital" in April 2020. Pregnant women suspected to have coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were included. Two blinded experienced obstetricians performed LUS on pregnant women separately and noted their scores for 14 lung zones. Following a theoretical and hands-on practical course, one experienced obstetrician, two novice obstetric residents, and an experienced radiologist blindly evaluated anonymized and randomized still images and videoclips retrospectively. Weighted Cohen's kappa and Krippendorff’s alpha tests were used to assess the interobserver agreement. Results: Fifty-two pregnant women were included, with confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis rate of 82.7%. In total, 336 eligible still images and 115 videoclips were included in the final analysis. The overall weighted Cohen’s kappa values ranged from 0.706 to 0.912 for the 14 lung zones. There were only seven instances of major disagreement (>1 point) in the evaluation of 14 lung zones of 52 patients (n=728). The overall agreement between the radiologist and obstetricians for the still images (Krippendorff's α=0.856, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.797 to 0.915) and videoclips (Krippendorff's α=0.785; 95% CI, 0.709 to 0.861) was good. Conclusion: The interobserver agreement between obstetricians with different levels of experience on still images and videoclips of LUS was good. Following a brief theoretical course, obstetricians' performance of LUS in pregnant women and interpretation of pre-acquired LUS images can be considered consistent.