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Intraobserver and interobserver agreement on the radiographical diagnosis of canine cranial cruciate ligament rupture
  1. Evelien Bogaerts1,
  2. Elke Van der Vekens1,
  3. Geert Verhoeven1,2,
  4. Hilde de Rooster3,
  5. Bernadette Van Ryssen1,
  6. Yves Samoy1,
  7. Ingrid Putcuyps4,
  8. Johan Van Tilburg2,
  9. Nausikaa Devriendt3,
  10. Frederik Weekers2,
  11. Mileva Bertal1,
  12. Blandine Houdellier1,
  13. Stephanie Scheemaeker3,
  14. Jeroen Versteken1,
  15. Maryline Lamerand3,
  16. Laurien Feenstra3,
  17. Luc Peelman5,
  18. Filip Van Nieuwerburgh6,
  19. Jimmy H Saunders1 and
  20. Bart J G Broeckx5
  1. 1 Department of Medical Imaging and Small Animal Orthopaedics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium
  2. 2 Algemene Dierenkliniek Randstad, Borsbeek, Belgium
  3. 3 Small Animal Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium
  4. 4 Dierenartsencentrum Hond en Kat, Astene, Belgium
  5. 5 Department of Nutrition, Genetics and Ethology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium
  6. 6 Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
  1. E-mail for correspondence; bart.broeckx{at}


Even though radiography is one of the most frequently used imaging techniques for orthopaedic disorders, it has been demonstrated that the interpretation can vary between assessors. As such, the purpose of this study was to examine the intraobserver and interobserver agreement and the influence of level of expertise on the interpretation of radiographs of the stifle in dogs with and without cranial cruciate ligament rupture (CCLR). Sixteen observers, divided in four groups according to their level of experience, evaluated 30 radiographs (15 cases with CCLR and 15 control stifles) twice. Each observer was asked to evaluate joint effusion, presence and location of degenerative joint disease, joint instability and whether CCLR was present or absent. Overall, intraobserver and interobserver agreement ranged from fair to almost perfect with a trend towards increased agreement for more experienced observers. Additionally, it was found that stifles that were classified with high agreement have either overt disease characteristics or no disease characteristics at all, in comparison to the ones that are classified with a low agreement. Overall, the agreement on radiographic interpretation of CCLR was high, which is important, as it is the basis of a correct diagnosis and treatment.

  • dogs
  • radiography
  • cranial cruciate ligament rupture
  • intraobserver agreement
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  • JHS and BJGB contributed equally.

  • Funding Bijzonder Onderzoeksfonds (grant number: BOF15/24J/034).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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