Introduction: For the detection of local recurrences of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) after (chemo)radiation, diagnostic imaging is generally performed. Diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) has been proven to be able to adequately diagnose the presence of cancer. However evaluation of DW-MR images for recurrences is difficult and could be subject to individual interpretation. Aim: To determine the interobserver agreement, intraobserver agreement and influence of experience of radiologists in the assessment of DW-MRI in patients clinically suspected of local recurrent HNSCC after (chemo)radiation. Methods: Ten experienced head and neck radiologists assessed follow-up MRI including DW-MRI series of 10 patients for the existence of local recurrence on a two point decision scale (local recurrence or local control). Patients were clinically suspected for a recurrence of laryngeal (n = 3), hypopharyngeal (n = 3) or oropharyngeal (n = 4) cancer after (chemo)radiation with curative intent. Fleiss’ and Cohen's Kappa were used to determine interobserver agreement and intraobserver agreement, respectively. Results: Interobserver agreement was κ = 0.55. Intraobserver agreement was κ = 0.80. Prior experience within the field of radiology and with DW-MRI had no significant influence on the scoring. Conclusion: For the assessment of HNSCC recurrence after (chemo)radiation by DW-MRI, moderate interobserver agreement and substantial intraobserver agreement was found.

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European Journal of Radiology
Department of Radiology

Peltenburg, B. (Boris), Driessen, J.P. (Juliette P.), Philippens, M. E. P., Pameijer, F., Castelijns, J., Dankbaar, J., … Terhaard, C. (2018). The interobserver agreement in the detection of recurrent HNSCC using MRI including diffusion weighted MRI. European Journal of Radiology, 105, 134–140. doi:10.1016/j.ejrad.2018.05.031