Intraobserver and interobserver reliability of computed tomography measurements of the soft palate in French bulldogs

18 Dec 2019

Deprez, P., Irubetagoyena, I., Grand, J.-G., Harran, N.

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CT imaging has been used to document the soft palate dimensions in brachycephalic dogs but reliability of such measurements has not been evaluated. The aims of this study were to propose a method of measurements of the soft palate in French bulldogs and determine its reliability.


Thirty French bulldogs were prospectively included. Five measurements of the soft palate were performed on soft tissue and bone window mid-sagittal images: length, thickness at 25, 50 and 75 per cent of its length and sagittal plane cross-sectional area. Three sets of data were separately acquired by three observers. Intraobserver and interobserver reliability for all measurements was assessed using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).


The median ICCs showed excellent reliability (0.90 to 0.99) for all intraobserver measurements except for thickness at 75 per cent which showed good (0.80 to 0.89) to excellent reliability. The median ICC showed excellent reliability for all interobserver measurements.


The soft palate measurements on a single CT image are reproducible and repeatable. Further study is needed to assess the reliability of these measurements in the same patient with different endotracheal tube positions.