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.