Intra- and Interobserver Reproducibility of Third Trimester Middle Cerebral Artery Pulsatility Index Measurement: A Prospective Cross-Sectional Study

Lucia Pasquini, Laura Marchi, Claudia Gaini, Chiara Franchi, Federico Mecacci, Caterina Maddalena Bilardo

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BACKGROUND: Middle cerebral artery (MCA) pulsatility index (PI) Doppler in the third trimester of pregnancy is increasingly used.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to investigate intra- and interobserver reproducibility of MCA PI in the third trimester.

METHOD: Singleton pregnancies between 30+0 and 40+0 weeks were recruited. MCA Doppler velocimetry measurements were performed prospectively, independently, and blindly. Intra- and interobserver reproducibility was assessed by concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC); Bland-Altman plots were built, and limits of agreement (LoA) were calculated. Results were interpreted according to the cutoff set by the True Reproducibility of Ultrasound Techniques Review.

RESULTS: We enrolled 101 patients. ICCs for intraobserver reproducibility were 0.84 and 0.78 for raw values and percentiles, respectively; CCCs were 0.72 and 0.64. For interobserver reproducibility ICCs were 0.84 and 0.78, CCCs 0.72 and 0.63. According to the chosen criteria, these values show a poor-moderate reproducibility of third trimester MCA PI. Cohen's Kappa coefficients were 0.59 and 0.42, indicating a moderate agreement in discriminating normal and abnormal values.

CONCLUSIONS: Intra- and interobserver reproducibility of third trimester MCA PI, as assessed by ICC, CCC, and LoA, is far from satisfactory. This should be taken into account before taking clinical decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-219
Number of pages6
JournalFetal Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number3
Early online date21 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

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