Interobserver variability in the classification of childhood
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Maculopapular cutaneous mastocytosis (MPCM) in children is classified in two variants: 1) monomorphic variant, presenting with the small macules or papules typically seen in adult patients; and 2) polymorphic variant with larger lesions of variable size and shape, typically seen in children. The definition of polymorphic and monomorphic variants is mostly intuitive, and a validation of this classification has not been done.

This study aimed to interobserver variability in the classification of MPCM in two groups of observers: mastocytosis experts and general dermatologists.

Nineteen cases of childhood MPCM were shown blindly, for classification as monomorphic or polymorphic type, to 10 independent observers (8 dermatologists, 1 allergist and 1 hematologist) from Europe and North America with a vast experience in the management of pediatric mastocytosis. Also, the same cases were shown on a screen to 129 general dermatologists attending a meeting; their votes were registered by remote controls. The interobserver variability kappa coefficient (with 95 % confidence interval) was calculated to measure the reliability of the correlation.

Results:
-- The value of kappa interobserver variability coefficient for the group of 10 experts was 0.39, which is considered as ‘fair’.

-- The value of kappa interobserver variability coefficient for the group of 129 general dermatologists was 0.17, which is considered as ‘slight’.

-- A complete agreement of all 10 experts was achieved in only 4 of 19 cases (21.1 %).

-- The most voted choice was concordant between the two groups in only 11 of the 19 cases.

Conclusively, researchers failed to validate the classification system of childhood MPCM in monomorphic and polymorphic types. While the rate of agreement was low for mastocytosis experts, it was nearly the agreement expected by chance in general dermatologists.

Source: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jdv.17345?af=R
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