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Current Issue - November 2022, Volume 16, Issue No. 3

Official Journal of Malaysian Orthopaedic Association and ASEAN Orthopaedic Association

Reliability of Bigliani’s Classification using Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Determination of Acromial Morphology


Introduction: Bigliani classification is used for determination of acromial morphology, but poor interobserver reliability has been reported on conventional radiographs. This study aims to assess inter- and intra-observer reliability using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Materials and methods: Forty consecutive patients diagnosed with subacromial impingement syndrome were included to study. All subjects underwent standard shoulder MRI scan and acromial shape was evaluated by nine observers of different level of expertise (three attending surgeons, three senior orthopaedic residents and three radiologists). A second set of evaluation was performed in order to assess intra-observer reproducibility. Kappa (κ) coefficient analyses both for interobserver reliability and intra-observer reproducibility were then performed.

Results: Overall inter-observer agreement among nine observers was fair (κ=0.323). κ values for all 4 individual types ranged from 0.234 to 0.720 with highest agreement for type 4 and lowest agreement for type 3. Second evaluation did not result with an increase of inter-observer agreement (κ=0.338, fair). The κ coefficients for intra-observer reproducibility of nine observers ranged from 0.496 to 0.867. Overall intra-observer reproducibility was substantial. Comparison of inter- and intra-observer reliability among three groups showed no significant difference (p=0.92 and 0.22, respectively).

Conclusion: Results showed that MRI did not show superior reliability compared to conventional radiographs. Moreover, inter- and intra-observer agreement did not differ between observers of different level of expertise. Findings of present study suggest that despite a sophisticated imaging modality like MRI, Bigliani’s classification apparently lacks accuracy and additional criteria, or different assessment methods are required to assess acromial morphology for clinical guidance.

Abstract   |   Reference

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The Malaysian Orthopaedic Journal is a peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year in both print and electronic online version. The purpose of this journal is to publish original research studies, evaluation of current practices and case reports in various subspecialties of orthopaedics and traumatology, as well as associated fields like basic science, biomedical engineering, rehabilitation medicine and nursing.

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