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Classification Systems for Spinal Tumors Reliable

Two systems have moderate interobserver reliability, substantial intraobserver reliability

TUESDAY, Mar. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Two systems to stage and manage spinal tumors have moderate interobserver reliability and substantial intraobserver reliability, according to the results of a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of Spine.

Patrick Chan, M.D., from Vancouver General Hospital in Canada, and colleagues evaluated the reliability of the Enneking and Weinstein-Boriani-Biagini (WBB) classification systems to stage and facilitate treatment planning in 15 patients with primary spine tumors, with independent evaluation from 18 spine surgeons.

According to the Landis and Koch classification for κ statistics, the researchers found that interobserver reliability was moderate for the Enneking staging system, near-perfect for Enneking grade, fair for Enneking tumor extent, slight for Enneking metastasis, moderate for Enneking-recommended surgical margin, fair for WBB zones, moderate for WBB layers, and moderate for WBB-recommended surgical procedures. Intraobserver reliability was substantial and near-perfect for both systems.

"Results indicate moderate interobserver reliability and substantial and near-perfect intraobserver reliability for both the Enneking and WBB classification in terms of staging and guidance for treatment, despite a less than moderate interobserver reliability in interpreting the Enneking local tumor extension and WBB sector," Chan and colleagues conclude.

The study was funded by Medtronic Spinal and Biologics.

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