EU-USA pathology panel for uniform diagnosis in randomised controlled trials for HRCT screening in lung cancer

F. B. Thunnissen, K. M. Kerr, E. Brambilla, C. E. Comin, W. A. Franklin, B. Guldhammerskov, W. H. Westra, D. B. Fliedler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Randomised controlled trials for lung cancer screening using high-resolution computed tomography are now underway. In order to allow effective future comparison of the different trials, as well as strengthening conclusions based upon the analysis of larger data sets, uniformity and consistency of pathology diagnosis are essential. The aim of the present study was to determine the effectiveness of the learning process in this difficult area of diagnostic pathology. Eight pathologists received two CD-ROMs, each with digital images of 30 cases. After diagnosing the first series, selected background reading was provided. Kappa (κ) scores were calculated for each pathologist and category, and were compared to the consensus score. The readings of the first series showed a moderate agreement κ score: mean±SD for category numbers 8 (all eight categories) and 2 were 0.53±0.05 and 0.65±0.04, respectively. The κ 2 score distinguished between categories denoting benign and malignant lesions. The second series resulted in a good agreement κ score: 0.65±0.06 for category number 8 and 0.81±0.02 for category number 2. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that screen-detected cases pose particular problems for pathologists and that a trained pathology panel serving randomised controlled trials is likely to lead to more consistent and accurate tissue diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1186-1189
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Diagnosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Panel
  • Pathology
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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