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Influence of peer review medical audit on pathophysiological interpretation of nerve conduction studies in polyneuropathies

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Peter Fawcett, Dr Ian Schofield


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Objective: To evaluate the possible influence of peer review medical audit on experienced physicians' pathophysiological interpretation of nerve conduction studies in polyneuropathy patients. Methods: Since 1992,7 European neurophysiologists have collected samples of their patient examinations for regular review where the physicians interpret each other's cases electronically and subsequently discuss them at regular workshop meetings (i.e. a form of medical audit). Two sets of 100 polyneuropathy examinations interpreted with an interval of 4-6 years were selected. The sets contained 1456 and 1719 nerve conduction studies, each given a pathophysiological test conclusion by each individual physician. Inter-physician agreement on interpretation of demyelination and axonal loss of the nerve, as well as neuropathic and unspecific findings, was estimated using kappa statistics. Results: Increased agreement from set 1 to set 2 was found on interpretation of demyelination of the nerve (set 1: k=0.22; set 2: k=0.45), and of neuropathic (set 1: k=0.46; set 2: k=0.64) and unspecific findings (set 1: k=0.35; set 2: k=0.54). No changes were found on interpretation of axonal loss (set 1: k=0.26; set 2: k=0.31) and normal findings (set 1 and set 2: k=0.90). Conclusions: Participation in regular peer review medical audit resulted in increased agreement on interpretation of nerve conduction studies for 6 of the 7 participants. The study further highlights the need for better definition of criteria for identification of demyelinating, and in particular, axonal peripheral neuropathies. Significance: International collaboration involving peer review medical audit may contribute to development of practice guidelines and, in turn, to increased quality of electrodiagnostic medicine. (c) 2006 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tankisi H, Pugdahl K, Fuglsang-Frederiksen A, Johnsen B, de Carvalho M, Fawcett PRW, Labarre-Vila A, Liguori R, Nix WA, Olsen ML, Schofield IS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Neurophysiology

Year: 2006

Volume: 117

Issue: 5

Pages: 979-983

ISSN (print): 1388-2457

ISSN (electronic): 1872-8952

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.clinph.2006.01.010


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