Doppler US measurement of portal venous flow: variability in healthy fasting volunteers.
PURPOSE: To describe the intrinsic sampling variability of measurements of portal venous flow in healthy volunteers and to estimate the variability attributable to the sonographer, the subject, and the measurement. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a randomized controlled fashion, nine sonographers measured portal venous flow in five subjects. Each sonographer measured portal venous flow in each volunteer during three separate sessions with three measurements per session. Analysis of variance was used to estimate the contribution of several factors to the observed variability. RESULTS: Overall mean portal venous flow was 390 mL/min +/- 234 (range, 18-1,511 mL/min). The estimated variance components were 1.1 (3%), 2.5 (7%), 7.2 (21%), and 24.0 (69%) for the subject, the sonographer, the interaction between subject and sonographer, and the measurement or intrinsic variability. Similar results were obtained when the analysis of variance was fit by using the rank and median of the measurements. CONCLUSION: Substantial variability exists in measurement of portal venous flow. Variability attributed to inherent differences in repeat measurements contributes more to overall variability than that attributed to either sonographers or subjects.
Paulson, EK; Kliewer, MA; Frederick, MG; Keogan, MT; DeLong, DM; Nelson, RC
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