Purpose: To determine whether the frequency of intra-observer measurement discrepancies ≥5 mm for solid renal masses varies by renal mass characteristics and CT contrast phase. Materials and methods: This HIPAA-compliant retrospective study was approved by our IRB. We selected single CT images performed during the nephrographic phase (NP) of renal enhancement in 97 patients, each with a single solid renal mass. Mass location, margin, heterogeneity, and growth pattern were assessed. Six readers measured each mass on two occasions >3 weeks apart. Readers also measured the masses on images in 50 patients who had corticomedullary phase (CMP) images obtained during the same study. Results were assessed using Chi-square/Fisher's exact and Wilcoxon Signed Rank tests, and logistic regression analyses. Results: For NP to NP comparisons, intra-reader measurement differences ≥5 mm were seen for 3.7% (17/463) of masses <4 cm, but increased to 16.8% (20/119) for masses >4 cm (p < 0.0001). Masses with poorly defined margins (15.9% [22/138] vs. 3.4% [15/444] for well-defined margins, p < 0.0001) and heterogeneity (15.3% [22/144], vs. 5.0% [14/282] for minimally heterogeneous, vs. 0.6% [1/156] for homogeneous, p < 0.0001), were more frequently associated with measurement differences ≥5 mm. Differences ≥5 mm were more frequent when only CMP images were utilized (14% [42/299]), or when CMP images were compared with NP images (26% [77/299]). Conclusions: A ≥5 mm intra-reader variation in measured size of solid renal masses <4 cm is uncommon for NP to NP comparisons. Variation increases when masses are ≥4 cm, poorly defined, or heterogeneous; or when CMP images are utilized.
- Computed tomography
- Renal mass measurements
- Solid renal mass
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging