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Observer homogeneity in the histologic diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori. Latent class analysis, kappa coefficient, and repeat frequency

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  • A H Christensen, Denmark
  • T Gjørup, Denmark
  • J Hilden, Denmark
  • C Fenger, Denmark
  • B Henriksen, Denmark
  • M Vyberg, Denmark
  • K Ostergaard, Denmark
  • B F Hansen, Denmark
  • Patologisk Institut, Aalborg Sygehus Nord
Four pathologists independently examined 82 antral mucosal biopsy specimens for the presence of Helicobacter pylori and indicated whether their assessments were certain. The pathologists made a positive diagnosis in from 56% to 84% of the specimens (significant heterogeneity, p < 0.01). The frequency of uncertain diagnoses was from 4% to 20% (p < 0.01). Uncertain statements occurred more frequently among negative than among positive diagnoses. For the six pairs of observers the kappa coefficients were between 0.39 and 0.82. By a latent class analysis measures of diagnostic accuracy were calculated comparing the observers' assessments with an estimated consensus diagnosis. The predictive values of a positive diagnosis ranged from 0.70 to 1.00. By calculation of repeat frequencies--that is, the probability that an observer's statement was confirmed by another observer--it became evident that uncertain statements were less frequently (61%) confirmed than were certain ones (85%). It is concluded that observer homogeneity is only moderate with regard to the histologic diagnosis of H. pylori, which should be considered both in daily clinical routine and in scientific studies. Disagreement between observers was associated with negative diagnoses, presumably because the pathologists felt more uncertain in these cases.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Pages (from-to)933-9
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1992

    Research areas

  • Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Biopsy, Female, Gastric Mucosa, Gastritis, Helicobacter Infections, Helicobacter pylori, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Models, Statistical, Observer Variation, Peptic Ulcer, Predictive Value of Tests, Pylorus

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