Reproducibility of a protocol for standardized reading of chest X-rays of children household contact of patients with tuberculosis

María Margarita Lozano-Acosta, María Alejandra Rubiano-Arenas, Lina Marcela Cadavid, Guillermo Vélez-Parra, Beatriz Molinares, Diana Marcela Marín-Pineda, María Patricia Arbeláez-Montoya, Dione Benjumea-Bedoya

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in an indexed scientific journalpeer-review


    Background: The interpretation of the chest radiograph may vary because it depends on the reader and due to the non-specificity of findings in tuberculosis (TB). We aim to assess the reproducibility of a standardized chest radiograph reading protocol in contacts of patients with pulmonary TB under the 5 years of age. Methods: Descriptive, cross-sectional study with children under the age of five, household contacts of patients with confirmed pulmonary TB from Medellín, Bello and Itagüí (Colombia) between Jan-01–2015 and May-31–2016. Standardized reading protocol: two radiologists, blinded independent reading, use of template (Dr. Andronikou design) in case of disagreement a third reading was performed. Kappa coefficient for intra and inter observer agreement, and prevalence ratio were estimated of sociodemographic characteristics, TB exposure and interpretation of chest X-ray. Results: From 278 children, standardized reading found 255 (91.7%) normal X-rays, 10 (3.6%) consistent with TB, and 13 (4.7%) other alterations. Global agreement was 91.3% (Kappa = 0.51). Inter-observer agreement between readers 1–2 was 90.0% (Kappa = 0.59) and 1–3 93.2% (Kappa = 0.59). Intra-observer agreement for reader 1 was 95.5% (Kappa = 0.86), 2 84.0% (Kappa = 0.51), and 3 94.7% (Kappa = 0.68). Greater inter-observer disagreement was between readers 1–2 for soft tissue density suggestive of adenopathy (4.6%), airspace opacification (1.17%) and pleural effusion (0.58%); between readers 1–3 for soft tissue density suggestive of adenopathy (4.2%), opacification of airspace (2.5%) and cavities (0.8%). Conclusions: Chest radiographs are an affordable tool that contributes to the diagnosis of TB, so having a standardized reading protocol showed good agreement and improves the reproducibility of radiograph interpretation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number307
    JournalBMC Pediatrics
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Dec 2022

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2022, The Author(s).


    • Clinical Protocols
    • Latent Tuberculosis
    • Observer Variation
    • Radiography, Thoracic
    • Reproducibility of Results
    • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary

    Types Minciencias

    • Artículos de investigación con calidad A1 / Q1


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