Artificial intelligence-aided CT segmentation for body composition analysis: a validation study

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Background: Body composition is associated with survival outcome in oncological patients, but it is not routinely calculated. Manual segmentation of subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) and muscle is time-consuming and therefore limited to a single CT slice. Our goal was to develop an artificial-intelligence (AI)-based method for automated quantification of three-dimensional SAT and muscle volumes from CT images. Methods: Ethical approvals from Gothenburg and Lund Universities were obtained. Convolutional neural networks were trained to segment SAT and muscle using manual segmentations on CT images from a training group of 50 patients. The method was applied to a separate test group of 74 cancer patients, who had two CT studies each with a median interval between the studies of 3 days. Manual segmentations in a single CT slice were used for comparison. The accuracy was measured as overlap between the automated and manual segmentations. Results: The accuracy of the AI method was 0.96 for SAT and 0.94 for muscle. The average differences in volumes were significantly lower than the corresponding differences in areas in a single CT slice: 1.8% versus 5.0% (p < 0.001) for SAT and 1.9% versus 3.9% (p < 0.001) for muscle. The 95% confidence intervals for predicted volumes in an individual subject from the corresponding single CT slice areas were in the order of ± 20%. Conclusions: The AI-based tool for quantification of SAT and muscle volumes showed high accuracy and reproducibility and provided a body composition analysis that is more relevant than manual analysis of a single CT slice.




Borrelli, P., Kaboteh, R., Enqvist, O., Ulén, J., Trägårdh, E., Kjölhede, H., & Edenbrandt, L. (2021). Artificial intelligence-aided CT segmentation for body composition analysis: a validation study. European Radiology Experimental, 5(1).

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