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Intraobserver and Interobserver Consistency Evaluation of Carotid Plaque Volume Measured by Different 3-Dimensional Ultrasound Methods.

Ultrasound Quarterly 2023 January 27
This study aims to evaluate the accuracy of the semiautomatic planimetric measurement (SAPM) method and the necessity of manually adjusted boundary measurement in 3-dimensional ultrasound measurement of plaque volume. A total of 50 patients with 82 plaques in the common carotid arteries between December 2020 and March 2021 were included in this study. Two observers measured the 3-dimensional volume of plaque for each patient in 3 different methods (contour tracing method [CTM], SAPM method without manually adjusted boundary [SAPM1], and SAPM method with manually adjusted boundary [SAPM2]). The difference in measurement time between the 3 methods was evaluated by Kruskal-Wallis H test. Intraclass correlation coefficient and 95% confidence interval were used to evaluate the intraobserver and interobserver reliability of the 3 measurement modes. The Bland-Altman analysis was used to assess the agreement, which was expressed as the mean difference with the 95% limits of agreement (LOA). The difference in measurement time between the 3 methods was statistically significant (P < 0.001). Both observers' intraobserver and interobserver reliability showed well in the 3 methods (all of the intraclass correlation coefficients were >0.75). The mean differences of the plaque volume measurement were 38.17, 26.42, and 11.75 mm3, respectively. The agreement between CTM and SAPM2 was the best, and LOA was -57.00 to 80.51. The agreement between SAPM1 and SAPM2 and the agreement between SAPM1 and CTM were similar, and the LOAs were -126.10 to 202.40 and -158.00 to 210.80, respectively. The SAPM method may be recommended to measure plaque volume in clinical practice.

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