Introduction: After the clinical diagnosis of leprosy, classification methods are necessary to define a treatment and prognosis of patients consistent with bacterial load. Bacteria are detected in skin smear, and bacterial load typically is established by the internationally used Ridley's logarithmic scale, However, in Colombia an alternative semiquantitative scale is used. Objective: The interobserver reproducibility was established for the Ridley and Colombia scales, and the level of correlation-matching was identified between the bacillary indices obtained in order to assess the degree of interchangeability. Materials and Methods: Standardization was attained by a reading of the smears by 2 readers with subsequent, blinded evaluation of inter-observer agreement. Each reader quantified the bacterial load of for each sample (n=325) using the Colombian and the Ridley scales. The degree of interobserver agreement was assessed with weighted kappa coefficient. The level of correlation and agreement between the measurements of the bacillary index was established with coefficient of Lin. Results. The interobserver weighted kappa coefficient was 0.83 for the Colombia scale and 0.85 for the Ridley scale. The Lin coefficient was 0.96 for the correlation-matching of bacillary indexes. Conclusions: Interobserver agreement obtained for both scales was excellent as the correlation-matching bacillary indices determined with both methods. With the cut-off points yielded a good level of agreement, ensuring interchangeability between the scales defining the high or low bacterial load.
|Translated title of the contribution
|Reliability and agreement of two smear reading scales for classification and monitoring of multidrug therapy in leprosy patients
|Number of pages
|Published - 2011
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology