Semi-automated adjusted measurement of nuchal translucency: feasibility and reproducibility.

Research paper by G G Grangé, M M Althuser, J J Fresson, A A Bititi, K K Miyamoto, V V Tsatsaris, O O Morel

Indexed on: 04 Sep '10Published on: 04 Sep '10Published in: Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology


The variability of nuchal translucency thickness (NT) measurements in the first trimester appears to be associated in part with caliper placement. Methods for obtaining semi-automated adjusted measurements (SAAMs) can provide several NT values (maximum, minimum, mean and median) automatically within a manually set frame in the zone of interest. This study sought to assess the feasibility and reproducibility of these SAAM-NTs.Three readers, two experts and one less experienced, examined archive images of 160 patients and obtained SAAM-NTs from them, on two separate occasions. The intra- and interobserver reproducibility were assessed by calculating the intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for maximum, mean and median SAAM-NTs, and Bland-Altman plots were constructed.SAAM-NTs were technically feasible for all 160 images. The range of ICCs for intraobserver reproducibility was 0.76-0.93 for mean SAAM-NT, 0.76-0.95 for median SAAM-NT and 0.74-0.95 for maximum SAAM-NT. Interobserver ICCs were 0.85, 0.85 and 0.84 for mean SAAM-NT, median SAAM-NT and maximum SAAM-NT, respectively. There were no significant differences for intra- and interobserver reproducibility of median, mean and maximum SAAM-NTs.SAAM-NT is feasible with a high level of intra- and interobserver reproducibility. This easy-to-use method has the potential to simplify screening during the first trimester. It should be evaluated further and compared with the manual measurement method.