Interobserver and intraobserver reproducibility in focal cortical dysplasia (malformations of cortical development).

Wendy A. Chamberlain, Mark L. Cohen, Kymberly A. Gyure, Bette K. Kleinschmidt-DeMasters, Arie Perry, Suzanne Zein-Eldin Powell, Jiang Qian, Susan M. Staugaitis, Richard A. Prayson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Malformations of cortical development (MCD) (cortical dysplasias) are well-recognized causes of intractable epilepsy. Although a histologic classification system for MCD has been proposed by Palmini et al. (Neurology; 2004; 62:S2), studies to date have not assessed reproducibility. The purpose of this study was to analyze inter- and intraobserver agreement among eight experienced neuropathologists (NPs) with respect to this classification system. METHODS: Sections from 26 epilepsy resections were selected to represent the range of pathologies described by Palmini et al. Recuts of single sections from each case were sent to the NPs to classify. The slides were resent at a later date for reclassification. Kappa analysis for both inter- and intraobserver concordance was performed. RESULTS: Interobserver agreement was moderate (kappa = 0.4968). There was > or =62.5% (5 of 8 NPs) agreement for 19 of 26 cases. The greatest concordance was present when making focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) types IIA/B classifications (12 of the 14 cases with > or =75% consensus). Mild MCD (types I/II) and FCD types IA/B classifications were the least reproducible, and used most frequently in cases without consensus. Intraobserver concordance was moderate to very good (range kappa = 0.4654-0.8504). The category with the fewest classification changes made on reevaluation was FCD type IIB (4.2%), whereas that with the most changes was mild MCD (types I/II) (52.9%). DISCUSSION: Interobserver concordance using this approach was moderate. The classification categories with the greatest concordance were FCD type IIA/B, and the least, mild MCD and FCD types IA/B. In addition, difficulty in differentiating Mild MCD/FCD type I lesions from normal and/or gliotic tissue was noted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2593-2598
Number of pages6
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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