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Diagnostic terminology for reporting thyroid cytology: Inter-observer agreement between the format currently used in Sri Lanka and the Bethesda system

Authors:

IHDS Prabath ,

Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Kynsey Road, Colombo 8, Sri Lanka, LK
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AAH Priyani,

Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Kynsey Road, Colombo 8, Sri Lanka, LK
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MDS Lokuhetty

Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Kynsey Road, Colombo 8, Sri Lanka, LK
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Abstract

Background: Thyroid cytology reporting has become standardized with the introduction of the Bethesda System of Reporting Thyroid Cytology (BSRTC), linking up diagnostic categories with clinical management guidelines. The current thyroid cytology reporting format in Sri Lanka (TCRSL) is based on the original ‘Thy’ classification of the British Thyroid Association. The number of diagnostic categories have been increased in the BSRTC than in TCRSL (6 vs. 5 categories), with a possible adverse impact on inter-observer agreement (IOA). IOA of both reporting formats were thus compared to evaluate the appropriateness of looking beyond TCRSL in Sri Lanka, a country facing a significant thyroid cytology burden.

Objective: To compare inter-observer agreement between the thyroid cytology reporting format in Sri Lanka and the Bethesda format.

Methods: 100 thyroid aspirates received by the department from January 2008 to May 2012 were selected by stratified random sampling. Retrieved smears were reviewed and classified using TCRSL and BSRTC by two pathologists independently. Results were tabulated using SPSS. Linear weighted κ and composite proportion of agreement values were used to evaluate the IOA of responses in both formats.

Results: Linear weighted κ was 0.6138 (95% C.I. 0.4797 - 0.7479) and the composite proportion of agreement was 68% for TCRSL. In BSRTC, linear weighted κ was 0.6795 (95% C.I. 0.563 - 0.796) and the composite proportion of agreement was 70%.

Conclusion: IOA for both reporting formats is in the substantial agreement range, with no significant difference in κ values. BSRTC shows a slightly higher composite proportion of agreement than TCRSL. Thus increased diagnostic categories of BSRTC have no significant adverse impact on the IOA in our setting.

 

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/jdp.v8i2.6787

 

Journal of Diagnostic Pathology 2012 (8); 2:13-22

 

 

How to Cite: Prabath, I., Priyani, A. & Lokuhetty, M., (2014). Diagnostic terminology for reporting thyroid cytology: Inter-observer agreement between the format currently used in Sri Lanka and the Bethesda system. Journal of Diagnostic Pathology. 8(2), pp.13–22. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jdp.v8i2.6787
Published on 03 Apr 2014.
Peer Reviewed

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