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In Radiology ; h5-index 91.0

BackgroundPattern of emphysema at chest CT, scored visually by using the Fleischner Society system, is associated with physiologic impairment and mortality risk.PurposeTo determine whether participant-level emphysema pattern could predict impairment and mortality when classified by using a deep learning method.Materials and MethodsThis retrospective analysis of Genetic Epidemiology of COPD (COPDGene) study participants enrolled between 2007 and 2011 included those with baseline CT, visual emphysema scores, and survival data through 2018. Participants were partitioned into nonoverlapping sets of 2407 for algorithm training, 100 for validation and parameter tuning, and 7143 for testing. A deep learning algorithm using convolutional neural network and long short-term memory architectures was trained to classify pattern of emphysema according to Fleischner criteria. Deep learning scores were compared with visual scores and clinical parameters including pulmonary function tests. Cox proportional hazard models were used to evaluate relationships between emphysema scores and survival. The algorithm was also tested by using CT and clinical data in 1962 participants enrolled in the Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate End-points (ECLIPSE) study.ResultsA total of 7143 COPDGene participants (mean age ± standard deviation, 59.8 years ± 8.9; 3734 men and 3409 women) were evaluated. Deep learning emphysema classifications were associated with impaired pulmonary function tests, 6-minute walk distance, and St George's Respiratory Questionnaire at univariate analysis (P < .001 for each). Testing in the ECLIPSE cohort showed similar associations (P < .001). In the COPDGene test cohort, deep learning emphysema classification improved the fit of linear mixed models in the prediction of these clinical parameters compared with visual scoring (P < .001). Compared with participants without emphysema, mortality was greater in participants classified by the deep learning algorithm as having any grade of emphysema (adjusted hazard ratios were 1.5, 1.7, 2.9, 5.3, and 9.7, respectively, for trace, mild, moderate, confluent, and advanced destructive emphysema; P < .05).ConclusionDeep learning automation of the Fleischner grade of emphysema at chest CT is associated with clinical measures of pulmonary insufficiency and the risk of mortality.© RSNA, 2019Online supplemental material is available for this article.

Humphries Stephen M, Notary Aleena M, Centeno Juan Pablo, Strand Matthew J, Crapo James D, Silverman Edwin K, Lynch David A