Vibration Response Imaging: evaluation of rater agreement in healthy subjects and subjects with pneumonia
BACKGROUND AND AIM Acoustic lung imaging offers a unique method for visualising the lung. This study was designed to demonstrate reproducibility of acoustic lung images recorded from healthy individuals at different time points and to assess intra- and inter-rater agreement in the assessment of dynamically represented acoustic lung images. METHODS Recordings from 29 healthy volunteers were made on three separate occasions using vibration response imaging. Reproducibility was measured using quantitative, computerised assessment of vibration energy. Dynamically represented acoustic lung images were scored by six blinded raters. RESULTS Quantitative measurement of acoustic recordings was highly reproducible with an intraclass correlation score of 0.86 (very good agreement). Intraclass correlations for inter-rater agreement and reproducibility were 0.61 (good agreement) and 0.86 (very good agreement), respectively. There was no significant difference found between the six raters at any time point. Raters ranged from 88% to 95% in their ability to identically evaluate the different features of the same image presented to them blinded on two separate occasions. CONCLUSION Acoustic lung imaging is reproducible in healthy individuals. Graphic representation of lung images can be interpreted with a high degree of accuracy by the same and by different reviewers.