Semi-automated scoring of pulmonary emphysema from X-ray CT: Trainee reproducibility and accuracy
European Journal of Radiology
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OBJECTIVE: We developed a semi-automated tool to quantify emphysema from thoracic X-ray multi-detector (64-slice) computed tomography (CT) for training purposes and multi-reader studies.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thoracic X-ray CT was acquired in 93 ex-smokers, who were evaluated by six trainees with little or no expertise (trainees) and a single experienced thoracic radiologist (expert). A graphic user interface (GUI) was developed for emphysema quantification based on the percentile of lung where a score of 0=no abnormalities, 1=1-25%, 2=26-50%, 3=51-75% and 4=76-100% for each lung side/slice. Trainees blinded to subject characteristics scored randomized images twice; accuracy was determined by comparison to expert scores, density histogram 15th percentile (HU 15), relative area at -950 HU (RA(950)), low attenuation clusters at -950 HU (LAC(950)), -856 HU (LAC(856)) and the diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DL(CO%pred)). Intra- and inter-observer reproducibility was evaluated using coefficients-of-variation (COV), intra-class (ICC) and Pearson correlations.
RESULTS: Trainee-expert correlations were significant (r=0.85-0.97, p
CONCLUSION: We developed a GUI for rapid and interactive emphysema scoring that allows for comparison of multiple readers with clinical and radiological standards.
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