SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
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Quality of reporting of diagnostic accuracy studies on pelvic floor three-dimensional transperineal ultrasound: a systematic review.

OBJECTIVE: In recent years, a large number of studies have been published on the clinical relevance of pelvic floor three-dimensional (3D) transperineal ultrasound. Several studies compare sonography with other imaging modalities or clinical examination. The quality of reporting in these studies is not known. The objective of this systematic review was to determine the compliance of diagnostic accuracy studies investigating pelvic floor 3D ultrasound with the Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy (STARD) guidelines.

METHODS: Published articles on pelvic floor 3D ultrasound were identified by a systematic literature search of MEDLINE, Web of Science and Scopus databases. Prospective and retrospective studies that compared pelvic floor 3D ultrasound with other clinical and imaging diagnostics were included in the analysis. STARD compliance was assessed and quantified by two independent investigators, using 22 of the original 25 STARD checklist items. Items with the qualifier 'if done' (Items 13, 23 and 24) were excluded because they were not applicable to all papers. Each item was scored as reported (score = 1) or not reported (score = 0). Observer variability, the total number of reported STARD items per article and summary scores for each item were calculated. The difference in total score between STARD-adopting and non-adopting journals was tested statistically, as was the effect of year of publication.

RESULTS: Forty studies published in 13 scientific journals were included in the analysis. Mean ± SD STARD checklist score of the included articles was 16.0 ± 2.5 out of a maximum of 22 points. The lowest scores (< 50%) were found for reporting of handling of indeterminate results or missing responses, adverse events and the time interval between tests. Interobserver agreement for rating the STARD items was excellent (intraclass correlation coefficient, 0.77). An independent t-test showed no significant mean difference ± SD in total STARD checklist score between STARD-adopting and non-adopting journals (16.4 ± 2.2 vs 15.9 ± 2.6, respectively). Mean ± SD STARD checklist score for articles published in 2003-2009 was lower, but not statistically different, compared with those published in 2010-2015 (15.2 ± 2.5 vs 16.6 ± 2.4, respectively).

CONCLUSION: The overall compliance with reporting guidelines of diagnostic accuracy studies on pelvic floor 3D transperineal ultrasound is relatively good compared with other fields of medicine. However, specific checklist items require more attention when reported. Copyright © 2016 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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