Intraobserver repeatability and interobserver reproducibility in musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging measurements

P. V. Balint, R. D. Sturrock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. To assess the repeatability and reproducibility of ultrasonographic measurements at the anterior surface of the femoral neck and iliofemoral ligament and on a human tissue-mimicking phantom. Methods. Two independent investigators studied 22 consecutive hips. One investigator had previous experience in musculoskeletal ultrasonography (US). The other investigator had undergone a short course in hip sonography (only 3 hours). Both investigators were blinded to their own and each other's results. On the phantom both observers had taken 10 vertical measurements at 6 cm deep where two objects were placed at 2 cm from each other. Calculation of measurement errors, percent errors and the Bland-Altman graphic technique were used for analysis of data. Results. After 132 examinations the first investigator's within-subject standard deviation was 0.4 mm. The intra-observer error was 4.75%. The second investigator's within-subject standard deviation was 0.6 mm and his intraobserver error was 7.00%. The interobserver error was 10.91%. After 20 phantom examinations the first investigator's intraobserver error was 1.11% and the second investigator's intraobserver error was 1.47%. Conclusion. An inexperienced musculoskeletal sonographer can achieve an acceptable performance if given appropriate training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-92
Number of pages4
JournalClinical and experimental rheumatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 21 2001


  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Hip
  • Hip joint
  • Imaging
  • Ligaments
  • Musculoskeletal system
  • Observer variation
  • Phantoms
  • Reproducibility of results
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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