DOI: 10.1259/bjr.20230126 ISSN:

The radiology quality assurance process in the Yorkshire Lung Screening Trial, and findings from the baseline round of low dose CT screening for lung cancer

Sara E C Upperton, Claire Bradley, Bobby S K Bhartia, Philip A J Crosbie, Michael Darby, Rhian Gabe, Christopher Hammond, Neil Hancock, Catriona Marshall, Martyn P T Kennedy, Matthew Callister
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • General Medicine


As lung cancer screening is rolled-out, there is a need to develop an effective quality assurance (QA) framework around radiology reporting to ensure optimal implementation. Here, we report a structured QA process for low-dose CT (LDCT) scans performed in the Yorkshire Lung Screening Trial.


Negative LDCT scans were single read after using computer-aided detection software. The radiology QA process included reviewing 5% of negative scans selected at random, and all cases with a subsequent diagnosis of extrapulmonary cancer or interval lung cancer not detected on the baseline scan. Radiologists were not informed of the reason for review and original radiology reports were scored as either “satisfactory”, “satisfactory with learning points”, or “unsatisfactory”.


From 6650 participants undergoing LDCT screening, 208 negative scans were reviewed alongside 11 cases with subsequent extrapulmonary cancer and 10 cases with interval lung cancer. Overall, only three reports were ultimately judged “unsatisfactory”, 1% of randomly selected negative scans (n = 2/208) and one interval lung cancer scan (n = 1/10). Four out of a total of five cases judged “satisfactory with learning points” were related to oesophageal abnormalities where the participant was subsequently diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.


The described process attempts to minimise bias in retrospective review of screening scans, and may represent a framework for future QA of national screening programmes.

Advances in knowledge:

This study describes a structured QA process for a lung cancer screening programme, involving blinded second-read of LDCT screening scans to ensure fair, constructive audit of clinical performance.

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