Abdominal Multidetector Computed Tomography for Suspected Small-Bowel Obstruction: Multireader Study Comparing Radiologist Performance for Predicting Surgical Outcomes

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To compare performance of junior (JR)/senior (SR) abdominal radiologists using multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) to predict surgical intervention, bowel resection, and presence of bowel ischemia in patients with suspected small-bowel obstruction (SBO).


Retrospective, institutional review board-approved, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant, blinded, independent review of MDCT studies for suspected SBO in 179 adults (mean age, 55.8 years; 86 men/93 women) was performed by 12 board-certified radiologists (6 JR, 6 SR). Readers rated likelihood of need for surgery, bowel ischemia, and resection. Correlation with clinical outcomes/pathology was performed.


Pooled receiver operating characteristic area under the curve for surgery, ischemia, and resection were 0.802, 0.736, and 0.824 and 0.773, 0.851, and 0.751 JR/SR, respectively. Sensitivity/specificity for predicting surgery was 86.7%/65.4% and 79.6%/64.4%. No differences existed between JR/SR performance overall (P = 0.451); highest/lowest performing readers between groups (P < 0.001) and within groups (P = 0.008) varied.


Junior radiologists performed as well as SR in predicting surgical outcomes on MDCT in patients with suspected SBO.

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