OBJECTIVE. The objective of this article is to assess radiologist concordance in characterizing thyroid nodules using the American College of Radiology Thyroid Imaging Reporting and Data System (TI-RADS), focusing on the effect of radiologist experience on reader concordance. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Three experienced and three less experienced radiologists assessed 150 thyroid nodules using the TI-RADS lexicon. Percent concordance was determined for various endpoints. RESULTS. Interreader concordance for the five TI-RADS categories was 87.2% for shape, 81.2% for composition, 76.1% for echogenicity, 72.9% for margins, and 69.8% for echogenic foci. Concordance for individual features was 96.3% for rim calcifications, 90.8% for macrocalcifications, 90.1% for spongiform, 83.5% for comet tail artifact, and 77.7% for punctate echogenic foci. Concordance for the TI-RADS level and recommendation for fine-needle aspiration (FNA) were 50.4% and 78.9%, respectively. Concordance was significantly (p < 0.05) higher for less experienced readers in identifying margins (84.3% vs 67.4%), echogenic foci (76.9% vs 69.3%), comet tail artifact (89.6% vs 79.2%), and punctate echogenic foci (85.3% vs 75.5%), and lower for peripheral rim calcifications (95.0% vs 97.8 %), but was not different (p > 0.05) for the remaining categories and features. CONCLUSION. A range of TI-RADS categories, features, and recommendations for FNA had generally moderate interreader agreement among six radiologists. Our results show that concordance for numerous characteristics was significantly higher for the less experienced versus the more experienced readers. These results suggest that less experienced readers relied more on the explicit TI-RADS criteria, whereas the experienced radiologists partially relied on their accumulated experience when forming impressions. However, the overall TI-RADS level and recommendation for FNA were unaffected, supporting the robustness of the TI-RADS lexicon and its continued use in practice.
- Interreader concordance
- Thyroid cancer
- Thyroid nodule
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging